Liberty Kid elevates that woeful genre, the 9/11 movie, by keeping a Wire-worthy ear to the street talk of south Williamsburg and maintaining a shrewd balance of the personal and the political for two full acts. It is, alas, a three-act narrative. No matter: Produced by indie stalwart Larry Fessenden, the sophomore feature from writer-director Ilya Chaiken stages an uncommonly acute, deftly played drama of the New York working class.
Written and directed by Ilya Chaiken
Two Boots Pioneer, January 9 through 15
Derrick (Al Thompson) and Tico (Kareen Saviñon) find themselves out of work on September 12 when their Liberty Island concession stand is shut down. Wage-slave indignity gives way to a grudging coke operation (and a hilarious batch of business cards offering "Party Favers"), followed by the inevitable rough-and- tumble rivalries, jealousies, seductions, and betrayals. The actors remain superb even as Chaiken triple-underlines every-thing in the bittersweet denouement. Kudos to Kid, nevertheless, for having something worth saying in the first place.