Lower Grand

The secret life of a street known from movies, television shows and commercials...

Lower Grand chronicles the uneven recovery after the Great Recession through the aspect of this familiar setting. Depending which side you're on, its portals are a window on the upper crust of American society or its lower depths.

Filmed betweeen 2015-2020, Lower Grand captures the redevelopment of Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles during this period.


Crowned with the city's premier financial and cultural institutions, its rebound is emblematic of the U.S. economy's slow return to growth after the 2008 financial crisis: banks were made whole; public money flowed to infrastructure; private money flowed to pet projects of billionaires; but millions of Americans permanently joined the ranks of the poor and the indigent - when the music stopped, they were left without a seat.

Similarly, as things began to look up on Grand Avenue, nothing changed for the unhoused who live below on Lower Grand. In fact, their numbers increased.

Meanwhile, Hollywood continued to offer a warped reflection of our society in the movies and commercials it filmed on Lower Grand, routinely displacing its homeless residents for its productions.

And all but predictably, the next big economic shock - the COVID pandemic - was just around the corner...

Featuring music by Mario Grigorov and Desolation Radio.

A film by Jeff Dorer.

© Jeff Dorer 2021