Dude, Where’s My Carburetor?

You probably didn’t know Willet's Point, Queens, was the chop shop capital of the world, so here’s some advice: Don’t park your Pontiac at Shea Stadium unless you prefer four hubcap-less tires, a missing fender, and no rearview mirrors. Likely, 12-year-old Ale (Alejandro Polanco) hocked your hood ornament for a peso or three, but it’s actually his livelihood in director Ramzi Bahrani’s docudrama-esque Chop Shop. By day, this pint-sized street urchin swipes and sells vehicle scrap while older sister Isamar turns tricks under bleak overpasses. By night, he lazes inside a crude makeshift hovel on the second floor of the body shop where he works. Ale’s entrepreneurial ambition is to pawn enough parts to afford his own profitable fast food wagon service. (And to think, some kids would’ve been happier with a video game instead.) Catch Chop Shop today at 4:45 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets run $5 to $8. Call 954-525-3456, or visit www.fliff.com.
April 19-22, 2008
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Phillip Valys