(United States, 2011, 86 min.) “For someone to go out and essentially do graffiti to eliminate graffiti seems very hypocritical, very paradoxical.”
That viewpoint belongs to Max Good, director of Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression, a documentary that provides a uniquely perspectived look at graffiti’s acceptance in modern culture.
It tells the stories of three buffers, middle-aged white men who take it upon themselves to eradicate any and all vandalism (including lost pet signs) in their respective cities. They see their work as a public service; taggers and artists see it as a form of suppression.
While the documentary clearly favours the latter perspective – the buffers are vilified, made out to be overzealous lunatics – it does do a relatively good job balancing sides by using expert opinions. It also touches on the social, criminal and political aspects of street art.
While Vigilante Vigilante is a little sloppy in its storytelling, it’s worth checking out – if not, at the very least, to see some remarkable graffiti.
9:30 p.m. Thurs. Feb. 9, The Vic Theatre