A meditation on the splitting of the Red Sea.
Text consolidated from the book of Exodus
Images and sounds by Ben Stamper
Music by Fog Lake "Transcanada" off of the album "Virgo indigo"
(Used under Creative Common s Attribution 4.0 license)
In the outer reaches of Queens there is a little piece of post-apocalypse that’s just a 7-train ride away. Hugging the new Citi Field stadium, the infamous “Iron Triangle” is home to hundreds of migrant auto repair shops, scrap yards and waste management outfits. It is a picture of industrial anarchy that easily outstrips any vista along the New Jersey Turnpike. There are no sewers, only a few septic tanks. No sidewalks, no drainage. A little rain typically brings a lot of flooding. Its “roads” are the worst in the city. The glut of tire-eating potholes keeps business flowing. Garbage trucks are everywhere but they show little interest in picking any up. That trash that remains is burnt or simply packed between the walls of the corrugated chop shops.
But there is another side to this seemingly feral landscape. For the people who work there, the Iron Triangle represents the beloved battle where men have literally made something out of nothing. It is raw entrepreneurial energy - the kind you find in the Favelas of Brazil or among the ship-breakers of India. Poverty and lack of options can crush a person or else save them through forced innovation.
For the 1,700 laborers of Willets Point, the writing is on the wall. Plans for urban renewal are taking root as the shadow of Citi Field grows larger every day. Many shops have already relocated or closed their doors altogether.
These 62 acres are at the center of a highly controversial struggle between the near and distant future of everyday New York.
This film is intended as an homage for a way of life on the edge of extinction; a confession that the will to survive is somehow stronger than the math of circumstance, and that abundant life always nips at the heels of apparent devastation.