A young Frenchman's search for his American father provides the thematic center of this drama by septuagenarian director Jerry Schatzberg. Daniel (Guillaume Canet) repairs brass instruments for a living, and when he journeys to New York to work on some French horns for Paul (Tony Lo Bianco), a business friend, he brings with him a scrap of paper bearing the identity of his father, whom he has never met. Upon his arrival in New York, Daniel is introduced to Paul's family, which includes his daughter Tilly (Monica Trombetta) and Joey (Nick Sandow), her abusive lout of a husband. Daniel receives a tough introduction to the South Bronx neighborhood where he looks for his father, getting robbed and witnessing a drive-by shooting in the space of a few minutes. Fortunately, he's befriended by William (Jay Rivera), a streetwise kid, and his grandfather, Cecil (Norman Matlock). The two help Daniel navigate life in the 'hood, and he is gradually led to a disreputable landlord (Burt Young) who may have vital information about Daniel's father.