Sandor Lau’s energetic documentary portrait of South-Auckland car-windscreen cleaner Starfish, who pounces with the speed and grace of a tiger.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Sándor Lau tells us that he is New Zealand’s only Chinese Hungarian-American. He discovered Aotearoa in 2000 as a Fulbright scholar. He discovered Starfish, his Squeegee Bandit, on the streets of South Auckland where he earns a living cleaning car windscreens, pouncing with the speed and grace of a tiger. Starfish is a charmer with a quick wit and a dangerous edge, an exhibitionist with a mean talent for impersonation and a lot to say about himself and the fucking cunts who put him where he is today. He vents about the stepfather of his kids, about the foster mother who mocked and bullied him, and about the Pakeha who stole Maori land. Lau is with him all the way, underscoring his explosive anger with plangent guitar chords, and underscoring the historical perspective with wacky excerpts from old government films. His frantic freeze-frame hip-hop music-vid style amounts to a virtuoso exercise in keeping up with his volatile subject. But in a lyrically ironic Christmas shopping sequence and in the long parting shot, he wishes his prancing tiger safe haven as well. — BG