The Man Who Stole Banksy
MAD | Music/Art/Design
What happens when a Palestinian taxi driver cuts out a four-ton chunk of a Banksy wall mural in Bethlehem and puts it up for sale? All hell breaks loose in the art world and beyond, that’s what… In 2007, Banksy visited the divided city of Bethlehem and, together with his anonymous team, began painting on the wall separating Palestinians and Jews. One of his images—an Israeli soldier asking a donkey for its papers—caused a furor, and it was this image that Walid Zawahrah chose to steal and sell, thinking that the money he could collect from a sale would aid the Palestinian cause far more than a mere image. Aided by a voiceover from the ever-cool Iggy Pop, director Marco Proserpio follows the artwork as it travels the world; in the process, he chronicles the political, cultural and ethical fallout of Zawahrah’s actions with verve and intellectual rigour.
"Proserpio’s ambitious debut feature… is a far-reaching plunge into the modern art world… [It’s] a microcosm of issues in art, law, international politics—and, perhaps most important of all, ethics. Thorny topics include the commodification of street art, the privatization of space, Western artists invading minority cultures, the occupation of Palestine… A must-see for art nerds, this is a rich, stylish documentary that favours intellect over narrative. Yes, it’s a wild ride; it entertains while it stimulates…"—Dylan Kai Dempsey, Ioncinema