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Director Christopher E. Brown's sophomore effort is an unrelentingly bleak depiction of the everyday life of the urban poor, reminiscent of John Cassavetes' early work. Ray (Wedrell James) is a recently unemployed auto mechanic, who -- despite his widely acknowledged skill -- cannot seem to find a job.
His growing loss of faith and confidence starts to take its toll on his supportive wife Mary (Venieta Proter). Soon the combination of financial insecurity and emotional distance strains their formerly healthy marriage.
These frustrations subtly affect their sullen teenage son, Chris (Khafre James), who in turn takes his anger out on his bashful younger sister, Miranda (Alyce James). Ray's attention seizes on a dilapidated truck, which he vows to fix.
In an ill-conceived and ill-fated attempt to buy a missing part, Ray finds himself sucked into the presence of people even more desperate than himself. Metal was screened at the 1999 Mill Valley Film Festival.