Anthropological in scope, sensuous in detail and emotionally resonant throughout, FOREIGN PARTS is an exemplary social record of Willets Point, an industrial graveyard of scrap heaps and auto shops in Queens, New York, that is scheduled to be demolished and redeveloped. Filled with scrapyards and auto salvage shops, lacking sidewalks or sewage lines, the area seems ripe for urban development. But FOREIGN PARTS discovers a strange community where wrecks, refuse and recycling form a thriving commerce. Cars are stripped, sorted and cataloged by brand and part, then resold to an endless parade of drive-thru customers. Joe, the last original resident, rages and rallies through the street like a lost King Lear, trying to contest his imminent eviction. Two lovers, Sara and Luis, struggle for food and safety through the winter while living in an abandoned van. Julia, the homeless queen of the junkyard, exalts in her beatific visions of daily life among the forgotten. The film observes and captures the struggle of a contested "eminent domain" neighborhood before its disappearance under the capitalization of New York's urban ecology.
Runtime: 80 minutes
"It’s a testament to Alive Mind Cinema that documentaries like FOREIGN PARTS have a home, and continue to have the necessary support to grow, to be seen by more and more people. But it’s also a testament to FOREIGN PARTS that Kino Lorber can see documentaries like this and want to bring them to the public, because curious minds like Paravel’s and Sniadecki’s are rare. Who else would spend all this time at Willets Point, wanting to show people what it’s like, that to some, their cars are more than just cars? They’re life itself." — Rory Aronsky, Movie Gazette Online
"While FOREIGN PARTS records dark, depressing moments, there are glimmers of joy, as we find a pair of men singing spirited songs about their love of their home country, Puerto Rico. And although Julia, a junkyard vagrant, has little money, she finds occasions to laugh and twirl.
Even the most mundane actions captured on camera prove to be the most poetic. Somehow a man cutting the steering wheel out of a salvaged car and dragging it through the murky, pothole-lined street becomes symbolic of the very heart being ripped out of the neighborhood, which is on the brink of demolition.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a documentary that was so candid, that hit so hard and drew a range of emotions. Having collected multiple film festival awards, FOREIGN PARTS’ accolades are well deserved." — Home Media Magazine
"Paravel/Sniadecki have pulled off the rare verite documentary that manages a formal grace and doesn’t patronize or fetishize its subjects....Foreign Parts belongs to a class of documentary that includes Dark Days and October Country; Paravel and Sniadecki have created an important, faithful document of people struggling against the tide of America’s 21st Century decline." — Green Cine