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Chop Shop

Hardship and hope
By JASON O'BRYAN  |  May 30, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars

VIDEO: The trailer for Chop Shop

The “Iron Triangle,” in Queens, is a 25-block junkyard of auto-body shops and corrugated aluminum, where unpaved roads flood gray with rain. It’s called Willet’s Point, and it’s as much the subject of Ramin Bahrani’s film as it is the setting. Shooting long takes with a hand-held camera and without music on the soundtrack, Bahrani re-creates the area as 12-year-old Alejandro (Alejandro Polanco, who provides a perfect mixture of the precocious and the naive) sweeps pounds of dust off the floor each night, or strains to open a rusty steel gate. He and his sister Isamar (an equally good Isamar Gonzales) live above an auto shop and struggle to make ends meet. The parents are nowhere in sight, and neither are they ever sought; these kids are on their own. Bahrani evokes a world that is fascinating and moving in its hardship and hope. 84 minutes | Brattle

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  Topics: Reviews , Jason O'bryan, Ramin Bahrani, Alejandro Polanco,  More more >
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