In 2007, world-renowned street artist Banksy traveled 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.
Italian director Marco Proserpio has been involved in film, television, and advertising since the age of 20, when he started working at MTV Italia. Soon after, he started directing television, short films, and commercials; his most recent projects include the short film Toys and the feature documentary The Man Who Stole Banksy.
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