Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression (2011)





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Movie Info

Out on the quiet city streets, in the pre-dawn hours, a battle is being waged. For decades, graffiti writers, street artists, and bill-posters have contended with police and city clean up crews. Now they have a new enemy: the obsessive and self-motivated lone vigilante. The story begins with the "Silver Buff" - a mysterious character known only by his marks - who has prolifically painted over graffiti in Berkeley, CA for over 10 years. Silver is his color of choice. From the start, the filmmakers reveal themselves not to be "objective" observers but instead involved operators seeking to unmask and stop the Silver Buff, who they see as hypocritical and destructive. The film broadens to encompass questions of why people are motivated to do graffiti and how it relates to the wider culture, as well as why some may appreciate it while others hate it. -- (C) Open Ranch Productions

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Critic Reviews for Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (2)

Just 86 minutes long with several profile subjects, the film never lacks context.

Full Review… | August 11, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The outstanding element in the often verite-rough package is Julien de Benedictis' editing, which organizes the potentially unwieldy mix of materials cogently, and with nary a dull moment.

Full Review… | August 9, 2011
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression


Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression (2011) B Without focusing on the pieces of art themselves, Vigilante Vigilante manages to be more entertaining than other graffiti documentaries. The film's colorful subjects are three older men in Los Angeles, Berkeley, and New Orleans, who've made it their self-appointed duty to paint over street art. The filmmakers question these vigilant characters (called "buffers") about their personal vendetta to "take back" their neighborhoods. Meanwhile, advertising bombards our visual landscapes, and only art that feeds the capitalist market is condoned by law. Mainstream media typically accentuates graffiti tags over murals or pieces, and exaggerates the link to gang culture. Vigilante Vigilante raises myriad sociological & philosophical questions about the subversive art form and the subversive men who undermine it. Equal time is given to graffiti writers and buffers. But with a clear bias toward the artists, the film paints the buffers as obsessive hypocrites, whom themselves are expressing suppression. Boosted by cogent conversations with academic theologists, journalists, politicians, and veteran street artists, the astute filmmakers turn a potentially unwieldy collection of opinions and footage into a coherent, funny, and extremely thought-provoking discussion. 86 B Acting -- Directing B+ Cinematography C+ Music & Sound B- Story A- In Class With: Bomb It, Piece by Piece, A Day in the Lyfe, and This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Robert Gassaway
Robert Gassaway

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