ONE OCTOBER is a lyrical time capsule that offers a window into the shifting heart of New York City. Filmed entirely in October of 2008, a time when gentrification is rapidly displacing the working and middle classes, Wall Street is plummeting, and Senator Obama is making his first presidential bid, the story begins with Clay Pigeon, an intrepid radio host who takes to the streets of New York City to talk to everyday citizens who are facing the uncertainty of change.
During his neighborhood rambles, Clay Pigeon meets people like Kristin, an optimistic young woman who has just arrived from the Midwest; Mark, a union construction worker still dusty from his workday and deeply in debt; Nicole, a transgender woman looking for an accepting community; and Stacie, a single mother in Harlem worried about gentrification.
Pigeon’s encounters interweave with observational passages that poignantly reveal urbanist Jane Jacobs’s idea of the “ballet of the good city sidewalk”: rollerskaters wind their way through Central Park, city dwellers seek blessings for a motley group of pets on St. Francis Day, observant Jews toss breadcrumbs into the Hudson River on Rosh Hashanah, and Muslims mark the end of their Ramadan fast with Eid al-Fitr prayers and expressions of forgiveness. Amid these celebrations of daily life we see the shifting landscape of the city: big-box stores and mega-chains rapidly replace independent businesses, giant glass buildings are erected where flea markets once stood, and luxury condos loom over small brick tenements.
Nuanced, cinematic, and often humorous, ONE OCTOBER charts the chasm between one’s desires and one’s means, explores the urgent need to conserve the old amid the glorification of the new, and affirms the notion that a varied streetscape is essential to the health of a dynamic metropolis. Seen from our current vantage point, the film is also a remarkable time capsule that foreshadows the roiling political upheaval spreading across the country today.
Sarah Rachael Wainio
Hunter College: Urban Policy and Planning, NYC
The Rubin Museum of Art, NYC
Fairhope Film Festival, AL
Beacon Independent Film Festival, NY
Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, VT
Woods Hole Film Festival, MA
Lighthouse International Film Festival, Long Beach, NJ
Stranger Than Fiction, NYC
Full Frame (World Premiere)
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Jeremiah Moss Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, October 26, 2017
Jeremiah Moss interviews director Rachel Shuman.
Full Frame: Review of “One October” doc film
Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan Durham Herald-Sun, April 4, 2017
“Clay Pigeon asks the right questions to get people talking, and Shuman — who is director, editor and producer — captures the city from aspects busy and slow, quiet and loud… There is wisdom and variety in every answer. …If you have an opportunity to see “One October” at Full Frame, or wherever it goes next, you should.”
A Love Letter to New York on Film
Allan Maurer NC Flix
“It filled me with nostalgia for my years walking New York City’s endlessly fascinating streets.”
Film Review: Round-up of the 15th IFFBoston — A Banner Year
Gerald Peary The Arts Fuse, May 6, 2017
“The probing interviews are juxtaposed with Sampliner’s breathtaking vistas of Manhattan, and all the rich material is edited by director Shuman in the most stirring, extraordinary way. It’s very rare to see a documentary so perfectly made, a jewel of formal beauty. At 56 packed minutes, One October is a small masterpiece of cinema.”
These are the Good Old Days: “One October” looks at a moment in New York
Interview with Rachel Shuman
Samantha Sanders Audiences Everywhere, May 16, 2017
“Take yourself back to 2008 for a moment. I initially remembered it as a relatively calm time—especially compared to what the country is currently experiencing. But my memory was poor (and our collective one can be just as flawed). That’s part of what makes One October so compelling… One October is a narrative time capsule, offering up the gift of hindsight that in turns feels both tellingly ominous and gleefully hopeful.”
WFMU’s Clay Pigeon • Big Sonia
Adam Schartoff Filmwax Radio, June 01, 2017
Interview with the team behind the new documentary One October, Clay Pigeon and director Rachel Shuman.
Every-Thing and No-Thing in New York City
Megan Scanlon ICYMI: Stranger Than Fiction, June 22, 2017
“New York City is the embodiment of every-thing and no-thing. It defines, cultivates, creates, resists, defies, and flows with change. This push and pull, this ebb and flow, this contraction and expansion is fluidly expressed in the time capsule that is ‘One October.’”
Framingham native’s ‘One October’ to be screened at Woods Hole Film Festival
R. Scott Reedy, Wicked Local Maynard, July 26, 2017
“Filmmaker Rachel Shuman grew up in Framingham but it is New York, another city she has called home, that is the setting of her documentary “One October,” which will be screened at the 26th Annual Woods Hole Film Festival on July 29.”
Two Festivals Focus on Independent Films
Beth Kalet, Times Herald-Record, August 31, 2017
“Beacon Independent Film Festival, now in its fifth year, will show features, shorts and documentaries, including ‘One October’ directed by Beacon resident Rachel Shuman.”
Shot in 2008, New Film Tackles Urban Change
Alison Rooney, The Highlands Current, September 10, 2017
“A celluloid time capsule of the period just before President Barack Obama’s first election victory and a particularly active period in New York City’s ever-changing landscape.”
In Beacon, film festival strives to give audience a cinematic experience
John W. Barry, Poughkeepsie Journal, September 11, 2017
“The film, said Shuman, ‘has a universal message. It’s about human resiliency and how change affects us on an individual level. It’s a portrait of people, really, but it’s also a portrait of a place that’s undergoing change and it hopefully can stand in for where you live.’”