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Based in New York

THE NINTH FLOOR

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    Jesse stands in the room she shares with her boyfriend, Mike.
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    Joey calls to someone knocking at his bedroom door before letting them in.
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    Charlie, a drug dealer who slept in a hidden space behind a moveable bookcase in Joe's apartment, counts money from a sale.
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    Rachel stays in the apartment after the arrest of her boyfriend, Lucky.
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    Joey's shadow is cast on the wall of his bedroom, where previous violent outbursts mark the walls.
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    Jesse walks back and forth in her bedroom prior to getting high. Unbeknown to their upwardly mobile neighbors, a rotating collection of drug users, including Jesse, lived for years on the ninth floor of a rent-controlled apartment building not far from the famous Flatiron building, a prime piece of New York City real estate.
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    Natasha struggles to find a vein for more than 45 minutes while her arms bleed from repeated attempts.
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    The living room of Joe Smith's apartment, like the rest of the household, is stripped of all objects that could be sold to obtain money for drugs.
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    Jesse injects Old Man Joe. Joe cannot shoot himself up, and therefore is dependent on the residents to both inject him and supply him with drugs.
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    Joe no longer holds a bedroom in his apartment, opting to stay on the couch of the living room and rent out all available space in exchange for drugs, beer or small amounts of money.
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    Mike, lead singer for the Murder Junkies, shows scars from when he cuts himself on stage during performances.
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    Jesse waits in Joey's room. It is difficult for residents to maintain meaningful friendships in the environment of the apartment because of the struggle each person must go through to obtain money and/or drugs.
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    Jesse and her boyfriend Mike fall asleep in the bedroom they share in Joe's apartment.
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    Jesse and Mike share a rare moment of intimacy in their bedroom. The daily struggle to obtain money for drugs puts a considerable amount of strain on their relationship.
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    Upon being forcibly evicted from the apartment, Jesse sleeps in Union Square, on a roof in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and during the winter, in a stairwell of an upscale apartment building.
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    Joe, 27, first used drugs at the age of 13. His veins are severely scarred and closed as a result of years of needle use. He struggles daily to find places on his body where he can still shoot up.
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    Now homeless, Joey comforts his son while visiting him in the home of the child's mother in the summer of 2005.
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    Jesse wanders the streets of New York City after being evicted from the apartment.
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    Upon being evicted from their apartment, Jesse and her boyfriend Mike sleep in Union Square park during the summer of 2005.
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    Mike smokes a cigarette on a rooftop in Brooklyn that he and his girlfriend, Jesse, sleep on after being forcibly evicted from their apartment.
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    Jesse is released from a seven-month sentence in jail. Sober and relieved to be out, Jesse is taken to an organic farm on the way to her mother's house where she will go to live in an attempt to stay sober.
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    Jesse, 32, has been heavily addicted to heroin for more than ten years. After seven-months in jail in 2006 she has moved to her parents home along the Hudson River and attempts sobriety although she continues to relapse.
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    Jesse's mother tries to comfort her as Jesse cries from frustration and desperation during a painful detox from heroin and crack. Although Jesse is in a rehab program, she does not yet feel the effects of her medication and must fight the temptation to go into the city to score drugs.
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    Jesse, who is attempting sobriety, meets up with a fellow Narcotics Anonymous member in the park while skipping a meeting.
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    A lamp hangs in Jesse's childhood bedroom.
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    Jesse shows a picture of herself before she began consistently using drugs.
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    Jesse and Mike rent a hotel room for three hours in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Although Jesse has been attempting sobriety by living with her parents in upstate New York, she continues to relapse by coming to Manhattan and using drugs.
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    Jesse and Mike rent a hotel room for three hours in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Although Jesse has been attempting sobriety by living with her parents in upstate New York, she continues to relapse by coming to Manhattan and using.
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    A view of the city skyline from the room that Dionn and Rachel rent together.
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    Dionn shares a room of an apartment in the Bronx with his girlfriend, Rachel, during the summer of 2006.
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    Rachel presses flowers in her journal in the small apartment she shares with her boyfriend, Dionn.
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    Dionn expresses anger at an exhausted and pregnant Rachel during the summer of 2006.
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    Rachel and Dionn eat dinner in the room that they share in the Bronx in the summer of 2006.
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    Rachel punches Dionn during a fight in their Washington Heights apartment. The couple was evicted several weeks later after beating up a roommate to the point of hospitalization.
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    Dionn after a fight with his girlfriend Rachel.
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    Rachel, six months pregnant, leans against the wall of her one-room rental during a hot summer afternoon. Rachel has been attempting to stay off heroin with a daily methadone program.
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    Rachel and Dionn have sex in their Washington Heights apartment in January of 2006.
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    Rachel clings to a beer while she and Dionn have sex in their Washington Heights apartment.
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    Rachel screams at Dionn inside the room they share in the Bronx. The small space that they occupy and the pressures of expecting a baby, being unemployed and trying to stay off heroin have made the couple extremely volatile.
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    Rachel lies on the bed of the Washington Heights apartment she shares with Dionn.
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    Rachel lies in the apartment she shares with her boyfriend, Dionn, several weeks before their baby is due.
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    Dionn comforts his daughter, Matilda, in the hospital where she has stayed for the first five weeks of her life.
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    Dionn and Rachel's daughter looks out through her crib. Matilda spent the first five weeks of her life in the hospital for surveillance and to detox from possible narcotic addiction.
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    Jesse cries out of frustration over her condition. After months of attempting sobriety upon being released from jail, she relapses and returns to the city where she stays in the basement of a historic house in Brooklyn in exchange for doing work.
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    Jesse struggles to get to the hospital after feeling weak and ill for several weeks.
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    Jesse shoots up during a several week stay in the hospital for an internal abscess.
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    Jesse, in the hospital for an abscess on her kidney, continues to use heroin.
The Ninth Floor

The Ninth Floor documents a group of addicts who moved into the apartment of a former millionaire in a wealthy neighborhood in downtown Manhattan. Joe Smith, in his mid 60s, allowed a young addict to move into a spare bedroom in his large three-bedroom apartment in hopes of gaining rent. Several years later, a fully addicted Joe no longer had a bedroom and as many as 12 to 15 young addicts stayed at any given time. All electricity and hot water had been turned off and anything valuable had long been sold to feed habits.

This project documents the residents of this space leading up to their eviction and follows several of them after as they face jail and sickness, fight and love, attempt to get clean, sink deeper into addiction, go to jail, start families and struggle to survive.

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