Foreign Parts Trailer (2011)
Tucked behind Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, the neighbourhood of Willets Point looks like an industrial eyesore. With no sidewalks or green patches anywhere, “neighbourhood” even feels like a stretch for this rusty sprawl of scrap yards and chop shops. But it’s bustling. A closer look reveals a thriving assembly line of tiny businesses that strip, sort and sell car parts to an equally steady stream of paying customers. This is where the city’s unwanted wrecks and people carve out their own space. While some manage to scrape together a living among the metal, others are barely holding on. Sara and Luis battle the cold in their abandoned van, while Joe, one of the last original residents, rages against the city’s imminent “redevelopment” plan. Observational and eye-opening, Foreign Parts is compelling urban ethnography, documenting people and a place on the brink of disappearing.