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Liberty Kid (2007)

Two friends a concession stand at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. After the World Trade Center terrorist attack, each of their dreams go up in smoke and yet they must endure the effect the attacks has on their lives.




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Credited cast:
Anny Mariano
Rayniel Rufino ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jarrett Alexander ...
Ephraim Benton ...
Milton's Driver
Police Officer #1
Denice's Friend
Prison Warden
Midwestern Tourist
Alice Goguen ...
Clumsy Party Girl
Officer #2
Jay Gutierrez ...
Park Goer
Andrew Hillmedo Jr. ...
Santos's Accomplice


In Ilya Chaikin's LIBERTY KID, childhood friends Derrick (Al Thompson) and Tico (Kareem Saviñon) occupy a high school dropout limbo operating a concession stand at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. Tico's ambitions reach no further than collecting the next paycheck or pretty girl's phone number, while Derrick has his eyes on a different prize. But when the World Trade Center terrorist attack plunges their lives, their community, and their country into chaos, Derrick's vision of a college-educated future goes up in smoke in the first of many incidences of personal collateral damage both he and Tico must endure. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

9 January 2008 (USA)  »

Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)

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A slice of life, in NYC's tougher areas, is a well acted, quiet film
19 October 2011 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Liberty Kids, by director Ilya Chaiken, stars Al Thomson, and Kareem Savinon, as Derrick, and Tico - two friends, coming of age, in New York City.

The story begins with them working on Liberty Island - two young men high school dropouts (Derrick just becoming the father to twins), who haven't made any real thought for their futures.

Their lives are changed, one day when the World Trade Center towers are attacked, and, Liberty Island is closed.

Out of work, the two friends take divergent paths. Derrick takes any job he can, to help support the twins. He goes to take his GED. Tico, takes another route. He's always looking to hustle. Whether its setting up a staged car crash - with Derrick's car as one to be used - for a possible 'big payoff,' or slinging drugs.

Both men find their lives getting harder. Derrick is much more the quiet of the two. Given where they're living...surviving, really, he tries to keep his head above the water.

He tries, and, even though he's not moving forward, he never complains, he just keeps trying.

One day, Tico's busted, slinging drugs, on a street corner, and, is sent away. Derrick stops in at an army recruiting station, and, the words he's told - how he's a grown man, with two kids, living with his 'mommy,' get to him.he wants to use the army for its promise of paying for college.

While Tico is in prison, Derrick is off in the mid-east.

Upon Tico's release, he finds out time's not been good to his friend. He's back home, but, he's nothing. He's homeless. Tico's girl wouldn't let Derrick be their child's godfather because of this.

Tico goes in search of Derrick, because, no matter what - he's still his best friend.

Liberty Kid doesn't end on a 'happy note.' However, it doesn't end on a sad note, either. It ends, as life just, continues to move forward.

I was so touched by Al Thomson's performance, for it's 'quietness.' There's no speechifying, no ' look at these kids, and their tough life' moralizing. Its a film that just quietly shows you what, unfortunately, is a life that's much too common.

Ms. Chaiken's film enwraps you slowly, with it's characters, and their lives. I've lived here, in NYC my whole life, and, while I knew they were just acting, the faces, the lives portrayed, are all too real.


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