Curious over a sibling’s unexpectedly violent death, a Lower East Side fabric merchant is drawn into the underworld in “I am Josh Polonski’s Brother,” sophomore collaboration of Marseilles-born helmer Raphael Nadjari and Amerindie icon Richard Edson. Super 8mm lensing limits theatrical possibilities, but fests and some territories may bite (debut effort “The Shade” was lauded in France), and pic may play better on cozy confines of vid.
Edson plays slow but earnest Abe, who along with siblings Ben (Jeff Ware) and Josh (Arnold Barkus) run family business Elegant Woolen & Silk Inc. After a meal at their mother’s (Etta Barkus), Josh is abruptly gunned down in front of the shop and an astonished Abe. Ignoring Ben’s advice to “let me think for all of us,” Abe uncovers Josh’s other life, which included money laundering and prostie Jill (Meg Hartig). Abe falls for Jill, tries to free her from the life, and is beaten for his troubles. Tech credits are grainy and on-the-fly, befitting Super 8mm format and 15-day shooting sked (much of it sans script, per helmer). The 35mm print caught was window-boxed, with German subtitles overlapping picture and black border.