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‘In the Heights’ is more than a movie to its cast. It’s a celebration of Latinas throughout history.

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Miranda realizes that the community, both in the film and beyond, is in debt to women like Merediz who climbed their way to the top and helped make the road a little easier for those who came after them. “We stand on Abuela Claudia’s shoulders, Olga’s shoulders, Priscilla Lopez’s shoulders, Rita Moreno’s shoulders and Chita Rivera’s shoulders, who had to make a way where there was no way,” he says, holding back tears. “The woman [Merediz] who had to play [a] maid after [portraying a] doctor gets a f—ing aria in this movie.”

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