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The Grande Hotel in Mozambique was young when it died. Having opened in 1955, it shuttered in 1962, the victim of the financial impossibility of maintaining a nearly 130,000 square-foot palace with a mere 120 rooms. Now 2,600 people live there—but in sub-tenement conditions, with some pseudo-squatters “buying” their homes for as little as 10 euros. The place is a wreck, as director Lotte Stoops is sure to point out with frequent—and I mean frequent—pans of the hotel’s exterior as some of the tenants describe life à la Grande. (You can buy anything you need without leaving the place. But you also shit on paper and toss it onto an ever-increasing outdoor pile.) Stoops tries to parallel the deterioration of the hotel with the decline of the Portuguese colony, an approach that adds what little meat there is to this doc. But for most of its 70 minutes, all you’re seeing are the results of abandonment.
Thursday, June 23 at 10:15 a.m. at AFI Silver 2; also on Friday, June 24 at 5:30 p.m. at AFI Silver 3.