Complex News Documentaries is thrilled to present our latest original film, No Free Walls.
The 30-minute documentary is an in-depth look at the renowned Bushwick Collective art project, its founder and curator Joseph Ficalora, and the rapidly changing landscape of their Brooklyn home base. The son of Italian immigrants, Ficalora grew up in Bushwick, a neighborhood once ravaged by drugs, neglect, and violence. At the age of 10, Ficalora's father was stabbed to death; as an adult, he lost his mother to cancer. Instead of plunging into depression, Ficalora decided to honor his parents through street art. In 2011, he began contacting muralists, recruiting them to decorate the old warehouses and factories that line the blocks of his neighborhood. The Bushwick Collective, as it became known, started to attract art enthusiasts, news outlets and, eventually, advertisers and real-estate developers from around the world.
Now, five years later, Bushwick is one of the hottest and fastest gentrifying neighborhoods in New York; many original residents are finding it hard to keep up with the ever-increasing rents. Advertising dollars are pouring into the neighborhood as well, painting and plastering walls with ads and encroaching on the spaces Ficalora has fought to beautify. Can a community thriving with creativity survive the change? Or will the spreading wave of gentrification whitewash the neighborhood and its world-renowned art? No Free Walls, Complex News Documentaries, will examine these questions and more.