Archives / 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Man Push Cart

Director: Ramin Bahrani

Screenwriters: Ramin Bahrani

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Description

It's 3:00 a.m. in Manhattan, the hour of rumbling garbage trucks, glaring headlights, and the bluish florescent glow of the all-night delis. Trudging alongside the honking traffic, Ahmad drags a coffee and bagel cart to a busy midtown corner. Hours later, he is swiftly and efficiently selling steaming cups of "coffee regular" to rushing New Yorkers. In the afternoons, he battles traffic to return the cart to a warehouse, occasionally peddling bootleg DVDs for extra cash along the way.

A solitary, quiet loner, Ahmad strikes up slightly awkward friendships with Noemi, a young Spanish woman who works at a newsstand, and wealthy, jovial Mohammad, who is shocked when he realizes Ahmad was a famous singer in Pakistan. Through Ahmad's relationships with both his new friends, and his estranged family, we come to understand that he is haunted by a tragedy in his past.

A beautifully crafted character study that captures the textures of a very specific New York experience, Ramin Bahrani's Man Push Cart is a subtle, insightful portrait of a man struggling with issues of identity, self-worth, and the harsh realities of finding a place to belong in a vast, often-unfriendly American metropolis.

— Elizabeth Richardson

Screening Details

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