Sunday, Jul 2 at 2:00 pm
Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Ramin Bahrani. 2007, 84 mins. DCP. With Alejandro Polanco, Isamar Gonzales, Rob Sowulski. In the self-contained and pothole pocked streets of Willets Point, Queens, under the shadow of the old Shea Stadium, adolescent orphan Alejandro (Polanco) works and sleeps in an auto body shop, forgoing school to support himself and his 16–year-old sister. Bahrani’s acclaimed third feature is a captivating work of contemporary neorealism, immersing us in a self-contained local culture with rules and an economy all its own, in Alejandro’s hand-to-mouth hustle, and in his delimited horizons at the literal edge of the city. Anticipating every potential slight or cheat, Alejandro forces away any semblance of childish desire or naiveté. Filmed on location in a neighborhood that‘s been largely demolished to make way for Citi Field (and to shield incoming fans from such a chaotic vista—heaven forbid), Chop Shop endures as a work of authentic, minutely observed storytelling, as well as a de facto document of a very recently vanished corner of New York.
Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for MoMI members at the Senior/Student level and above. Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.