Chop Shop | Chicago Reader

Chop Shop

"Most people don't live like Woody Allen characters," director Ramin Bahrani recently told IFC.com, and this quiet, naturalistic drama, his follow-up to Man Push Cart (2005), tells the kind of New York story too often overlooked. Set in the Iron Triangle, a roiling sea of scrap yards and auto shops near Shea Stadium, it centers on a 12-year-old Puerto Rican hustler (Alejandro Polanco) and his 16-year-old sister (Isamar Gonzales), who share a meager room above the chop shop where he works for cash. In this littered environment there's no such thing as trash, only salvage, and the biggest threat to the siblings' humanity is a creeping tendency to think of themselves as commodities as well.

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