Chicken broccoli

I was expecting something more like a thriller: Chinese-food deliveryman has only one day to raise $800! Look at him go! But Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou’s Take Out (currently playing at the Quad Cinema on West 13rd St in Manhattan) offers something else instead: an acutely realistic day in the life of a Chinese takeout place.

In fact, it rings so true that several people took it for a documentary, the New York Times reports. According to Jennifer 8. Lee’s story, “The movie — put together with a $3,000 budget and a lot of personal favors — was filmed in a real Chinese takeout restaurant at 103rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue during working hours. ‘We had to work through whenever they had five minutes, one minute, whenever they had a break,’ Ms. Tsou said.”

Our hero, Ming Ding, is an illegal immigrant paying off a debt for smuggling fees. At one point the kitchen crew discusses strategies for staying in the country. There are people who would be incensed at this conversation (though probably not many who’ll actually see the film), but it’s hard to imagine whose job Ming Ding could be accused of stealing.

Definitely recommended, especially if you order Chinese food.

One Response to “Chicken broccoli”

  1. paul says:

    That’s a story you ought to write and sell — your favorite Chinese restaurants and they’re illegal abused workers.
    I’ve thought several times I’d like to do that for C-U Chinese restaurants