Thursday, May 3, 2012

@NOFS Review: "Scrappers"

Full disclosure - I am currently one of the many Americans without a job. Like others who are gainfully unemployed, I applied at many different places; data entry facilities, customer service groups, hospitals, department stores and even a few fast food joints. No bite. I have sense attempted to go a different route - stop trying to find an opening, and make myself one. I'm still not where I want to be, but this plan is at least producing better results.

"Scrappers" tells the story of two men who, kind of like me, are making their job opening, albeit in a different field. See, they scour their local area for scrap metal - aluminum, iron, copper, etc. - and sell them to a junkyard for a profit. Well, hopefully for a profit; like what I'm currently doing, money isn't always guaranteed. These guys are taking a lot of risk; police tickets, sharp metals, heavy lifting, car breakdowns, fights - all for a small reward.

But, for Otis and Oscar - a senior and an undocumented immigrant - it's not all about the reward. Both men take much pride in what they do, and feel that they are providing a necessary service for their community. This is like the feeling most people have by default of being employed - the feeling that they are doing something with themselves. The feeling that they are contributing, as opposed to "taking a handout" from others. You show me a Republican who believes some people "just don't want to work", and I'll show them this movie.

Even when the economy took a hit in 2008, putting many scrappers out of work (the price of metals fell), Otis and Oscar took on jack of all trades type positions (painting, garage sales, etc). No matter what happens, no matter how hard they get hit, they WILL find work, dammit. And they WILL survive. I may be more fortunate than these men, but I could learn a thing or two from their story. Blogging aint the only job I can do, after all...

This documentary will be screened, for free, on Thursday May 17 at The Green Project Warehouse in New Orleans at 7pm, to be followed by a Skype Q&A with the filmmakers. Be there.

4/5 *'s

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