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Saving Banksy (2017)Saving Banksy (2017)

This one-hour documentary considers the crazy mashup of conflicting interests that have developed over the street art of graffiti artists who now ply their trade all over the world.  The artists risk arrest and imprisonment in order to enjoy an adrenaline rush or to make a political statement, even though their art form is temporary, since their work will almost certainly be painted over in mere hours.  Cities construe street art as vandalism, and often force building owners to bear the cost of removing it (or risk fines).  And now, the best street art of the most famous artists is being removed, without the permission of the artist, and then sold to galleries and auctions (with the artist getting nothing).  The most famous street artist is the secretive and anonymous Banksy, who came to San Francisco in 2010 and left a trail of public works.  The story follows the many complexities of a person who wanted to remove a Banksy painting from a SF building and donate it to a museum for public viewing.  Talk about the complexity of artistic provenance!  The film is narrated by a famous London-based street artist named Ben Eine (one of the very few people to know and work with Banksy), and incorporates numerous other people like him.  For another Banksy film, see the award-winning "Exit Through The Gift Shop."  I watched this film on Netflix streaming.

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