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Spoiler alert.

Man Push Cart is as bleak a portrait of life in New York City as they come. It’s about a former Pakistani rock star who moves to New York, only to lose everything, everything, everything. By the time we meet him he’s already lost his singing career, his wife (who has died), and his child (whom his wife’s parents won’t let him see). All he has left is the coffee-and-bagel vending cart he uses to make a meager living with, a couple of friends he’s made at random, whom he doesn’t really know all that well, and a fucking kitten.

Yes, even the fucking kitten dies.

There is your spoiler.

I liked this movie; it was well-done. But it was also the most depressing thing I’ve seen in a long time, the kind of story that will make a middle-aged man who has recently moved to New York in the midst of some personal difficulties, in particular, start up screaming at night. It encapsulates everything scary about New York — truly scary, not fake 1970s mugger-on-every-corner scary. How calmly people watch the destruction of other people’s lives, here. How calmly people watch the destruction of their own lives, here. Welcome to the jungle baby.

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