Note: This interview originally ran during the Sundance Film Festival. It is being rerun now because the film opened yesterday in New York City.
Man Push Cart, a film about a former Pakistani pop star selling coffee and doughnuts from a New York City pushcart, played to very receptive audiences at the Sundance Film Festival and sold before the end of the festival. Cinematical sat down at Sundance with cinematographer Michael Simmonds, star Ahmad Razvi, and director Ramin Bahrani (pictured above, from left to right), to talk about their film.
Cinematical: Ramin, I read an interview with New York Magazine where you talked about being inspired by Camus' TheMyth of Sisyphus in making this film. Can you talk about that?
Ramin: Camus is one of my favorite writers, and in the myth of Sisyphus, the story is about this guy who is condemned to endlessly push this boulder up a mountain, only to have it roll back down. And I had this image of this pushcart guy, hauling this cart over and over again.
Cinematical: You really had Ahmad pulling this heavy cart through New York City traffic. Were you nervous about that?
Ahmad: I was, yeah. (laughs)
Michael: We all were.
Ramin: There was one scene where Ahmad drifted to the middle and these semis were driving by. That was a little scary then. And the time when he fell, too. But here's the interesting thing – no one ever mentions that at the end there are two people pushing the cart instead of one – and that is a major change.