Accessibility Links

Secret Mall Apartment

1h 32m Documentary 2024

Executive-produced by Jesse Eisenberg, this stranger-than-fiction doc recounts how a 2000s artist collective spent four years living inside a shopping mall.

In 2003, eight Rhode Island artists set out to create a domestic dwelling in a hidden alcove of Providence Place Mall. Though it’s initially something of a lark, they end up living there until 2007, taking the project – and their lives within it – further than they ever thought they’d go. Seeing the complex as a symbol of failed gentrification and economic inequality, their gonzo act was a virtuous occupation of a building that blighted the local landscape.

Screening to much acclaim at SXSW and Hot Docs, Secret Mall Apartment is a winning portrait of live-in activism and out-there artistic ambition, ingeniously assembled from a massive cache of gloriously lo-fi video covertly shot by the residents on tiny early-2000s cameras. Director Jeremy Workman (Lily Topples the World; Claire Makes It Big, MIFF 1999) has crafted a funny, charismatic and slyly provocative film that captures the scrappy DIY ethos and us-against-the-world spirit of its subjects, interrogating what it means to make art in the face of late-period capitalism.

“Has the tension and fun of a crime caper, with Workman’s interviews building out the philosophy of the collective and the urban context in which they worked … An inspirational oddity.” – Paste Magazine


Jeremy Workman


Jeremy Workman


Michael Lisnet


Dan Kennedy


Jeremy Workman


Paul Murphy


Olivier Manchon


Clare Manchon





Download the app to view your purchased content!

Available on TV apps

ACMI acknowledges the Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, on whose land we meet, share and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or text.