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"When something is very difficult, magical things can occur"

Piotr Stasik is a fascinating, independent voice on the Polish film scene. We talked to him about the theme of love, freedom, New Yorkers and Europeans – and his new essay documentary 21 x New York.

This article is machine translated by Google from Norwegian

Was your plan to film the pursuit of love when you went to New York, Piotr Stasik?

No, what I wanted was to look into the city in depth to find out if New York was something for me or not. I really like to move to New York as a pensioner, to be like one of those crazy guys roaming the streets.

Did you initiate any love relationship there yourself?

"Yes, I had a relationship!"

Now it's your turn to be interviewed. Tell!

"I initiated relationship with one of the characters in the film."

Do I have to guess who it was? I don't think I can.


Give me another clue, then.

"No. Maybe I'll tell it towards the end of the conversation, maybe not. "

OK fine. Did you know from the start that the film was about relationship, love and obsession?

"Well, first I tried to get the movie to be about freedom. Because I think people in New York feel freer than Europeans do. I thought it was going to be a movie about how to show out what's inside. "

Fascinating – because I find that Europeans are more real. Maybe it's about culture or tradition, but Americans appear to be very friendly without necessarily being so genuine. If a metropolitan American says you're going to meet again, it's not something you should take quite literally.

"Yes, I had some problems with just that second hit. They weren't interested in meeting me again, really. I really wanted to meet them at home, so I sent them links to my earlier films. And then they opened the door for me anyway. It became my way of gaining their trust. I didn't have that much time, because I had to do 50 marks to get 21 good portraits. So I didn't have time to meet a character more than three times. "

And you filmed them by the guerrilla method - without asking permission - of The tube, for then å ta contact them and ask to do interviews?

"I knew it wasn't possible to have deep conversations on the subway – but at home they could do that. »

And you always managed to get an invitation to visit them at home?

“Almost always – maybe five percent wouldn't let me in. I thought it was an interesting experience as a filmmaker – I didn't know what would happen at the end of the movie. It was also interesting for me personally, because after one month I felt like I was in hell. I'd rather get away, but I didn't have enough money, so I had to stay. But then it struck me that it might be good. "

Why the hell? Because the stories people told were so depressing and bleak?

"Yes. Some of the stories were hard to hear. It was also difficult because I was with them and felt like one of them. But I thought that the difficult might be good for the film – sometimes it is that when something is difficult, something magical can occur. Something you could not imagine, something from the subconscious that is completely unexpected. "

See review of the movie here .

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