Take Out – Thursday, October 7, 2004 - 8:00 pm

Admission: FREE

Narrative Feature



Running Time


Take Out

Sean Baker & Shih-Ching Tsou



(English & Mandarin w/E.S.)
Filmmakers in Attendance
Ming is a recent illegal immigrant to New York who needs to pay back the creditors who illegally smuggled him into the country. He has exactly one day to come up with the money they demand. As a takeout delivery man for a local Chinese carryout, Ming’s only source of income is the tips he collects from customers. After a sympathetic co-worker willingly gives up his own rounds, Ming diligently hits the streets to make his deliveries, all the while facing the wrath of impatient customers and their condescending remarks about his limited English.

A gripping film shot with handheld camera in a real-life Chinese carryout, Take Out is cinema verité at its finest. Directors Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou capture the reality of the immigrant experience, revealing how a city can bare its fangs at the uninitiated newcomer. The film is a gritty, unsympathetic portrayal of a day in the life of an immigrant who discovers the underbelly of a new country. Take Out’s stark depiction of everyday human emotions borders on something close to profundity, revealing that sometimes the smallest human favor that can get us through the day.

Take Out contains a strong cast of supporting characters, including an easygoing co-worker, a tough as nails restaurant matron, and a kaleidoscope of customers who represent the diversity of the city. The film accurately portrays the frenetic pace of a Chinese carryout as well as the human stories behind the scenes. It is a survival tale about the clashing of immigrant sensibilities with the unforgiving mean streets of the city, as it explores our often careless attitude towards the immigrant workers who serve us.

-Suevon Lee


Venue Information

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Ring Auditorium
Independence Avenue at Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20013

Notes: Please try to arrive 45-60 minutes early to get in line. A full house is expected.