Full Frame 2017
A portrait of New York City in October 2008.
Shuman’s city symphony of sorts portrays NYC and its diverse residents as they look forward hopefully to Barack Obama’s election as US president, while still reckoning with the immediacy of the still-fresh financial crisis. Giving a loose structure to this hourlong survey is the filmmaker’s proxy, WFMU radio reporter Clay Pigeon, who conducts man-on-the-street interviews with a range of city residents, while also revealing a sense of uncertainty about his own financial security. In some ways, the film hinges on the viewer’s response to Pigeon, who is prone to posing well-meaning but sometimes invasive questions – particularly cringe-worthy is an exchange with a transgender woman – and to whatever personal associations the audience brings to today’s political climate, almost unthinkable in the world documented just over eight years ago.