I saw both movies this weekend and really liked them both. It was refreshing to see "real" people for a change.
Chan Is Missing follows two taxi drivers in San Francisco's Chinatown, Jo and Steve, who take it upon themselves to find Chan Hung; a gentleman who may have taken their money. Filmed in 1982 in yummy black and white, we see the seemingly droll, but oh so interesting day-to-day life of the Chinese American struggling to keep a piece of their heritage and still eat apple pie. Please note; there is a mistake in the Washington Post article - The hip Chinese cook wears Samurai Night Fever shirts, not Saturday Night Fever shirts.
Chop Shop follows Alejandro in his day-to-day quest to not only survive, but better himself. Sadly, this is not fiction. A few years out of high school I remember needing tires for car and having to money. Someone told me I could go to Rosstown (it's on the corner of BFE and Nowhere) and get cheap tires. This turned out to be a barn surrounded by stacks and stacks of tires (how did they all get there?) manned by 4 scrappy waifs barely 10 years old. You give the Waifs your order and off they scamper up and down the piles of tires - $5 bucks each. I think about them from time to time and wonder what became of them.