Foreign Parts | Chicago Reader

Foreign Parts

This impressionistic 2010 documentary was shot over two years in Willets Point, a Queens neighborhood choked with scrapyards and chop shops. Video makers J.P. Sniadecki and Véréna Paravel largely avoid the big issue—City Hall's plan to raze the neighborhood—but their portraiture of its panhandlers and immigrant laborers creates the sense of a ramshackle community where junked cars, displaced people, and stray animals peacefully coexist. Eschewing a clear chronology or structure, Sniadecki and Paravel make their case through poetic images, the most haunting of which involve Joseph Ardizzone (incredibly, the neighborhood's sole legal resident) wandering the unpaved streets like a dispossessed king. In English and subtitled Spanish and Hebrew.

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