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Rated NR · 87 minutes · 2006

Shaped like a relentless blues chant, Ramin Bahrani's hand-sized film casts a watchful eye on an overlooked New York ubiquity: the street-corner coffee-and-bagel vendor. Whatever else happens in the life of Bahrani's Pakistani hero Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi), the rhythmic routine of stocking, pulling (not pushing), and tending the massive snack cart dominates his foreground. Shooting in a tiny unit on 35mm, Bahrani scans the treadmill so carefully we could do the job ourselves. Occurring largely during the underslept, four-to-eight urban graveyard shift (props to nocturnal cinematographer Michael Simmonds), Ahmad's situation is dished out in small, teasing servings: He was once a budding pop star in Lahore, he has a son currently kept with his bitter in-laws, he's a widower. More vitally to him, he's $500 away from owning his cart, and the Bicycle Thieves schema of fragile subsistence economics hovers over his days. Coming armed with a small battery of festival awards, Man Push Cart is a diminutive film, finally -- vying for a neorealist vibe, it lacks the Italian history makers' narrative urgency.
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Director: Ramin Bahrani
Writer: Ramin Bahrani
Producer: Ramin Bahrani, Bedford Bentley and Pradip Ghosh
Cast: Ahmad Razvi, Leticia Dolera, Charles Daniel Sandoval, Ali Reza, Farooq 'Duke' Muhammad, Panicker Upendran, Arun Lal, Razia Mujahid and Hassan Razvi


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