“The Apology Line” Is Like a PostSecret You Can Watch

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apology-line-flyer-400x300Secrets are a burden. Edgar Allen Poe knew it. Joe Millionaire knew it. Today’s brightest minds know it (and they have clinical studies to prove it).

Still, divulging a burning hot piece of info to the person whose life it will alter isn’t always the right move. That’s why “The Apology Line” exists, a voicemail hotline primed and ready for confessions of all shapes and sizes. The concept was originated by artist Allan Bridge back in the 1980s and continues to spawn off-shoots. A Brooklyn resident is the most recent set of ears to don the moniker “Mr. Apology,” urging locals to call in and lay down a secret or two.

Documentarian James Lees, fascinated by the popular exercise, recently compiled a number of anonymous phone calls into a short film appropriate titled “The Apology Line.” In a surprise to no one, many of the secrets are tied to relationships. Infidelity, missed opportunities, strange encounters that words barely seem to describe — when the “Apology Line” callers feel the freedom of an anonymous stage, they let loose.

Matt Patches is a writer and reporter living in New York City. His work has been featured on New York Magazine’s Vulture,,, MTV, and he is the host of the pop culture podcast Operation Kino. He continues to love Groundhog Day.

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