Authentic, suspenseful, funny, and alive with surprising detail, Shih-Ching Tsou and Sean Baker’s Take Out reveals an unseen world of illegal Chinese immigrants at work in New York City. A day in the life of Ming Ding (Charles Jang) begins as a pair of hammer-wielding loan sharks come to the door of Ming’s squalid apartment. Their ultimatum is as simple as it is virtually impossible to fulfill: “You give us $800 tonight, or your debt is doubled.” With the family he supports half a world away, Ming has a single rain-soaked shift at his job -- anonymously and almost wordlessly delivering Chinese food on Manhattan’s Upper West Side -- in which to pay off his thuggish creditors. Deftly combining professionals and non-actors with ingenious DV photography, Take Out intelligently illuminates an immigrant underdog and his small community of harried co-workers with the same in-the-moment, pragmatic honesty with which Ming endures the constant deprivations of life on the American margin.
Original Languages: English and Chinese
Running Time: 87 min.