Everyday People

Director: Jim McKay
Screenwriters: Jim McKay

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


With a lyrical naturalism seldom found in American cinema, writer/director Jim McKay's Everyday People delicately interweaves the lives of a host of characters who come together at Raskins, a Jewish-owned restaurant that caters to a black clientele. Though Raskins is a Brooklyn institution, the place has seen better days, and restaurant owner Ira (Jordan Gelber) announces to his staff that he's selling out to a corporate developer.

The impending loss of their jobs forces all the employees to face demanding and difficult choices. The wrenching thrust of gentrification makes the characters' plight particularly timely. McKay utilizes this scenario to explore how crisis compels his multicultural characters to examine what they hold most dear.

With a subtle but uncluttered touch, Everyday People exposes the assumptions we make about each other based on race, age, and socioeconomic background, and just as quickly pinpricks those assumptions to illuminate some deeper truths.

An inspired ensemble cast deftly captures the complex dynamics and intricate relationships of lovers, friends, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. The camera lingers unwaveringly, observing but never judging the simple images of everyday life. Everyday People is a multifaceted film that unsentimentally affirms both the foibles and the grandeur of the little people of this world.

— David Courier

Screening Details

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