ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Anyone who has ever dipped their toe in the diamond-encrusted lagoon of the art world will know that making it rain dollars is often a far greater priority than bathing us with an insight into the deep mystery that is the human condition.

It is this battle between commercialism and creative expression that Saving Banksy centers around, shining its critical light onto the moral ambiguity of saving an artwork that never asked to be rescued.

"Rescuing" a Banksy original from the mean streets [Credit: Faction Entertainment].
"Rescuing" a Banksy original from the mean streets [Credit: Faction Entertainment].

Featuring a battalion of respected street artists lamenting the transitory nature of street art and raising questions about the public sphere as a gallery space as opposed to the lauded white cube, Saving Banksy critiques the morality of commercializing artwork, which often does not financially benefit its creator.

Ponder the extended trailer below for a glimpse into the complex, multifaceted moral dilemmas the simple act of painting a wall can bring — especially when art collectors crave a product that was never intended for them in the first place.

If you've never questioned who public art belongs to, you will now.

The documentary will be screened at select theaters from January 13, 2017. Check out the dates and locations below:

  • January 13 — Phoenix, AZ at FilmBar
  • January 13 — Peoria, IL at Landmark Cinemas
  • January 13 — Kansas City, MO at Tivoli Cinemas
  • January 13 — New York City, NY TBA
  • January 15 — Portland, OR at Hollywood Theatre
  • January 20 — Hollywood, CA at Arena Cinelounge
  • January 20 — San Francisco, CA at Roxie Theatre
  • January 20 — Portland, OR at Cinema 21
  • January 27 — Phoenix, AZ at Harkins Valley Art
  • January 27 — Boston, MA at Coolidge Corner Theatre
  • January 27 — Ithaca, NY at Cinemapolis
  • January 27— Albuquerque, NM at Guild Cinema
  • January 27 — Columbus, OH at Gateway Film Center
  • February 3 — Chicago, IL at Gene Siskel Film Center
  • February 3 — Buffalo, NY at The Screening Room Cinema Cafe
  • February 3 — Yonkers, NY at Alamo Drafthouse
  • February 3 — Seattle, WA @ TBA
  • February 3 — San Diego, CA @ TBA
  • February 3 — North Dakota @ TBA

For more info about the project head over to

Do you think public art relies on the context of the space it was intended to exist in, or is claiming it for the gallery fair game?

(Image credit: Faction Entertainment)


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