The first in a series of reviews from our coverage of the 2018 edition of the Lakeside Doc Festival at Naukuchiatal.
New York is a massive metropolis that makes people lose a sense of their self - just like any other major city from across the world. In the modern metropolis, the individual is faceless; identity itself dissolves into an indecipherable form. Piotr views these different individuals who travel in the metro / underground rail of New York and finds brief inlets into their lives. 21x New York seems to lead to a useful discussion: members of the audience find it difficult to draw ethical lines and sometimes, hold the filmmaker guilty of crossing them. They also acknowledge, on another occasion, that perhaps there is no alternative.
These different characters in New York are representative of the population that is largely lost, unsatisfied or looking for certain companionship. At times, romantic and at times, not - these are people on the lookout for immediate, fleeting relationships. Documentary filmmaking is undergoing rapid transformation, with the evolution of digital technology that allows people to record an image without being obtrusive. Here, the filmmaker uses a cell-phone to record a significant part of the film, while the film also uses sound carefully to emphasise a very real sense of the location within which these images are forged. The challenge for Piotr is based on surveillance: how do you diagnose, in a city of millions, a set of individuals with a particular eccentricity?