CHITO by Peter Burchard


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The photographer has called the shots, the author has supplied some captions; it's too obviously `inspired' (either meaning) to pass as a photodocumentary, not sufficiently developed to succeed as a story. Ostensibly this records the adjustment of a new arrival from Puerto Rico to New York. What wins Chito over before the end of a week?. What has happened? Very little: he worries about walking through a tunnel to the market, gets a big smile from a storekeeper; misses a friend, makes another; draws a picture on the sidewalk, jumps from the roof of an abandoned truck, has hope of getting a puppy. ""Why did he like this terrible place?"" ""The people. That was it!"" Better ask what was disturbing him to begin with: there's only a cursory reference to a language problem, none to his encounter with an alien school or to what specifically he dislikes about the street he disparages. It shakes down to the generalized loneliness and unease of a newcomer vs. the friendliness of the natives--without even making visible the exceptional sociability of life in the Barrio.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1969
Publisher: Coward-McCann