Manito is a 2002 American independent film written and directed by first time film maker Eric Eason. Shot in the cinema verite style, Manito chronicles 48 incident-packed hours in the lives of a Washington Heights Latino family.


Manito is set against the backdrop of a changing inner city that was once a neighborhood filled with thugs, drugs, poverty, and violence and dubbed the cocaine capital of the United States, tells the story of two brothers Junior Moreno (Franky G), an ex-convict struggling to get his life back and Manny Moreno (Leo Minaya), the salutatorian of his high school class. Although the dealers were disappearing from the neighborhood, their violent legacy remained casting a shadow over the 'hood and its residents. The film begins on the morning of Manny's graduation when various principal characters reluctantly roll out of bed, communicating with each other in overlapping arguments and cell phone conversations. Muscle-bound hunk Junior Moreno immediately channels his ever-hot-tempered energy toward long-suffering wife Miriam (Julissa Lopez) as well as the Mexican foreman (Panchito Gomez) who recruits day workers for Junior's not quite legal home-plastering biz. Reasons for Miriam's wary demeanor soon become obvious: Being a husband and father hasn't cramped Junior's lady-killer instincts one whit, with wealthy female business clients definitely on his to-do list.