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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

Director

Jeremy Workman

Producer

Jeremy Workman

Cinematographer

Michael Lisnet

Cinematographer

Dan Kennedy

Cinematographer

Jeremy Workman

Editor

Paul Murphy

Composer

Olivier Manchon

Composer

Clare Manchon

Language

English

Country

USA

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