Short, documentary, 34 min, 2017
The heart of a metropolis beats in its neighborhoods. Five communities reveal the other New York.
directed by Toma Peiu
cinematography by Shan Jin, Toma Peiu, Luiza Pârvu
editing and sound design by Luiza Pârvu
produced by Toma Peiu & Luiza Pârvu
The civil society of the 21st century global city spend their everyday around neighborhood street corners, stores and public transit stops, outside the reach of mainstream media and show business. Rituals, routines and unexpected events woven into the fabric of the civilian experience reveal themselves to the attentive eye. Civilians is an exploration of life in the metropolis, framing everyday scenes in the streets of “the other New York”: a collection of communities whose specificity is challenged nowadays by advancing gentrification and changes in the city’s economic paradigm.
Two cooks prepare a tray of dim sum by a sidewalk window; mothers bid a long goodbye to their children, outside a parked school bus; a group of firefighters shop at a local supermarket; two elderly brothers sing in front of an audience for the first time; a father and son await the train home, the evening before Thanksgiving. In Civilians, a bricoleur looks at the public landscape and its inhabitants in melancholic “open window” frames unearthing the poetry hidden in the mundane of a contemporary American city, captured over one Thanksgiving week.
Produced by Root Films (Romania) and The New School University (USA)