Directed by Loren Marsh and released in 2004, this film is a different and blackly funny look at the life of Polish immigrants in Brooklyn.
Kaz Malek is the latest in a long line of permanently poor bakers, a fate which he is expected to continue but which he has no interest in. He doesn’t have much interest in anything actually, apart form Eva, his sweetheart since they were both seven years old. His dream is ton raise the money needed to run away and start a new life with her and to this end, Kaz has made an attempt to steal a considerable sum of money from a Russian mobster. Never a good idea,. Especially if you don’t really have that criminal edge which poor Kaz certainly doesn’t. The Mobster decides that he wants $10,000 from Kaz and if he doesn’t pay then his father will be murdered. Since he cannot okay but equally cannot allow his father to die, he dreams up the idea of selling tickets to his own suicide, thus solving everyone’s problems not least his own. He is a little surprised to find how enthusiastically the local people, the mobster and even his father agree to this idea.
However as the time comes closer, Kaz feels the weight of responsibility oppressing upon him as he draws nearer to his date with the gallows. His friends don’t take his plan seriously and are always concocting ways to help him to do the deed, which doesn’t help his state of mind much. The local people have started to turn him into some kind of hero, incredibly impressed that he would sacrifice himself for the life of his father. His father is also extremely impressed and proud of his son for the first time as to him, Kaz is laying down his life so that the bakery, which is everything to the old man, might continue to function. Alone in the middle of this, Kaz begins to doubt the courage of his convictions and it seems that the only person who really cares about what happens to him is Eva.
This is a wonderfully absurdist movie with a lot of laughs along the way as Kaz comes closer and closer to his fate. Pablo Schrieber really shines as the ever moiré stressed and pressured Kaz, coming to terms with the fact that he might actually have to through with his macabre plan or spend the rest of his life being branded a coward. Is it better to be a dead hero? You’ll have to watch and find out.
Director: Loren Marsh
Cast: Pablo Schreiber, David Margulies, Katherine Moennig, Joseph Urla, Matthew Rauch