Street art is revolution
With so many horrific graffiti films flaunting awful soundtracks and mediocre artists, I admit I was skeptical about Bomb It—the “global graffiti” documentary released on Docurama. But because of the appropriate soundtrack, which ranges from Immortal Technique to Soweto gospel choirs, and the mastery of the featured artists, Bomb It just might be considered the definitive graffiti doc from this point on.
The film questions the controversy of “bombing,” and whether this form of expression is actually art. From punks to political figures, Director Jon Reiss (Cleopatra’s Second Husband) interviews many street artists, searching for answers to the almighty question: Is graffiti art, or is it merely just a hobby for miscreants with too much time on their hands? Taken from interviews of several artists hailing across the world (New York City; Tokyo; Berlin; San Paulo, Brazil; Barcelona, Spain; etc.), Bomb It proves that the spray can (when used intelligently) can create “ghetto Picassos.”
Of course, Reiss examines dynamic big-name graffiti artists, like the legendary Cornbread, Lady Pink, acclaimed hip-hop artist and former graffiti writer KRS-One, international art icon Shepard Fairey and the Brazilian bombing twin brothers Os Gêmeos, but he also follows lesser-known artists through midnight subway excursions, dangerous alleyway adventures and inevitable police chases. The film’s close inspection of graffiti’s story—complex and controversial—is ultimately thorough and well-documented.
And like any good documentary, Bomb It seeks to provoke thought and enlighten, while providing a well-rounded balance of opinions. Reiss proves that despite resistance from authority, street art is maturing rapidly—and like it or not, graffiti will prevail.