Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chop Shop

In the shadow of Shea Stadium, a young twelve year old street orphan is busy at work. In between selling DVDs on the subway, getting customers for his boss's chop shop, selling bootleg DVDs, stealing car parts, snatching purses, painting cars, saving up to buy a vending truck, and reuniting with his recently returned sister, Alejandro barely has time to live the life of a normal twelve year old. This 2007 film comes by way of Ramin Bahrani, the young Iranian director who specializes in urban neorealist films. Though his films may be overpraised in some circles, if you have not seen one of his films, you owe it to yourself to go out and do so. Bahrani has a way of capturing human elements of basic stories as well as extracting wonderful performances from non-actors. Chop Shop is a film that blends all elements of the human experience.