Megamall (Vera Aronow, Roger Grange, 2009):USA

Reviewed by Aleksandra Mraovic. Viewed at The Santa Barbara Film Festival.


Megamall is a documentary about people protesting against politicians and their right to vote and have a saying when it comes to their community. It´s the story about the second biggest mall in America, the Palisades Center in West Nyack, New York. The documentary was good because it´s important to see how it all happened. The documentary creates awareness among people.

The documentary is about people that don´t want changes in their community. After finding out that a man wanted to build a mall outside of their town, the people all felt that it would bring a lot of strangers to the town. They liked their town as it was; everybody knew each other and everybody felt safe. The people had a saying about the mall so they voted but it didn´t help. The mall was originally not supposed to be so big but the businessmen broke the contract and they made the mall much bigger. They had built a lot of extra empty space for future usage. The mall did attract a lot of outside people and everything changed in the small town beside the mall. Many stores in the town had to shut down because the customers went to the megamall. Movie theaters couldn´t survive because the mall was so big that it had a movie theater inside. Because Palisades is one of the biggest malls in America, many people came from out of town just to see the mall. The mall has everything from cinemas to play areas for the children. You could ice skate with your family and bowl with your friends.

The documentary was made by Vera Aronow and Roger Grange. This was their first documentary and they did a very good job. The documentary was shot before the Palisades Center was built and a couple of years after. You could really catch the whole process. We got to see both sides of the stories, the men who were in charge of the mall and the people who resented the mall. Some scenes were shot with an ordinary camera people have at home and the quality was not that good. Other scenes were made with a professional camera. You could really see the difference. That was a little bit disappointing to see.

Overall the documentary was good and informative. It´s important that people can express themselves and through a documentary you can inform the world. If it wasn´t for the documentary no one would have know how people really felt about the mall being built.

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