In 2007, world-renowned street artist Banksy travelled to Palestine and painted a number of politically charged works on walls and buildings all over the city. Some viewed this as a nuisance; others hailed the work as high art; and still more saw a business opportunity. Specifically, a bodybuilder and local taxi driver known as ‘Walid’ the Beast came up with an entrepreneurial plan: cut out the entire cement wall containing the art and sell it off to the highest bidder. Director Marco Proserpio’s The Man Who Stole Banksy is a provocative story about how works that are created illegally can be stolen, sold, and collected legally. As viewers follow Banksy’s work, they discover a secret art market of stolen walls from around the world. It’s a stylish examination of public space, appropriation, and the commodification of street art and of what happens when Middle East politics meet the Western art market.
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