Two Drifting Life Rafts on a Sea of Circumstance
There’s not a single wrong note in “Liberty Kid,” Ilya Chaiken’s poignant drama about marginal lives strained to breaking by the aftermath of Sept. 11.
When the best friends Derrick (Al Thompson) and Tico (Kareem Saviñon) lose their concession-stand jobs at the Statue of Liberty after the terrorist attacks, they drift into low-level drug dealing and petty insurance scams. But the Dominican-born Derrick has higher aspirations for a college future and regular support payments for his two young children, and when Army recruiters come calling — assuring him that a war with Iraq is “not gonna happen” — he makes a decision he will come to regret.
Tender, wise and deceptively low-key, “Liberty Kid” reaches beyond its vulnerable protagonists to enfold an entire class of circumstantial victims. Gently nudging her story in unexpected directions, Ms. Chaiken never allows her small budget to show: from Eliot Rockett’s beautifully lighted photography to the ease with which the actors inhabit their roles, everything about this film feels effortless. Even a support-group scene featuring real Iraq war veterans, which could have appeared jarringly staged, rings with understated authenticity.
Focusing on the quotidian over the episodic, “Liberty Kid” quietly accumulates emotional power. Not until the graceful, perfectly judged conclusion do we realize how much we care.
Opens on Wednesday in Manhattan.
Written and directed by Ilya Chaiken; director of photography, Eliot Rockett; edited by Dave Rock; music by Jeff Grace; production designer, Jesse Cain; produced by Larry Fessenden, Mike S. Ryan and Roger Kass; released by Glass Eye Pix. At the Two Boots Pioneer Theater, 155 East Third Street, at Avenue A, East Village. Running time: 1 hour 32 minutes. This film is not rated.
WITH: Al Thompson (Derrick), Kareem Saviñon (Tico), Raquel Jordan (Denice), Rosa Ramos (Awilda), Anny Mariano (Sister), Johnny Rivera (Nelson) and Rayniel Rufino (Mike).
Source: NY TIMES
LatinoReview (LR) announced today it's launch of a monthly film screening series with exclusive content on their website. Every month, the website will launch and exhibit the selected short film with its never seen before content in it's entirety on the LatinoReview site. To embark on this event, the first inaugural short for the new year and the month of January is RED PRINCESS BLUES ANIMATED: THE BOOK OF VIOLENCE.
LatinoReview who has reviewed many films in the past, decided this time they would switch it up and provide an opportunity for filmmakers. LR has always been able to provide exclusive interviews and reviews, but with the added content, this is sure to provide passage way for films that may not in the normal route obtain notoriety through regular media outlets. LR will launch once a month a short film that has not been viewed online before alongside with intimate review. This month's film will be reviewed by LR's notorious "El Mayimbe".
The short film RED PRINCESS BLUES ANIMATED: THE BOOK OF VIOLENCE (RPB) is written and produced by Alex Ferrari. Making his directorial debut is Dan Cregan. RPB is an animated short film prequel to Ferrari's feature film RED PRINCESS BLUES. The tale is about twelve year old girl who finds herself in a strange country looking for her father. She is taken in by a unique looking man who goes by Nino. The short film is narrated from the view of the girl and the things she is going through. She soon discovers the "Book of Violence" and the beginning of her journey that leads to vengeance. To see the premiere of RPB please go to: http://www.latinoreview.com/news/exclusive-red-princess-blues-7-min-short-3596
LatinoReview.com is a Web Site dedicated to bringing Reviews of the latest American Movies to the English speaking Latin-American audience. Their reviewers are young Latinos based in mainly in Los Angeles and New York (but have fast spread nationwide & internationally), and offer a fresh perspective of movies from the nations fastest growing markets. For more information please go to www.latinoreview.com