Bel Borba Aqui

95 minutes 2012

Prolific street artist Bel Borba is the subject of this likable but unremarkable documentary by directors Burt Sun and Andre Costantini. As the self-appointed “People’s Picasso,” Borba creates elaborate public installations—mostly mosaics and sculptures—intended to celebrate the Brazilian city of Salvador and its inhabitants. Borba repeatedly refers to Salvador as a living entity, comparing its marketplace to an intestinal track and its city center to reproductive organs, but this intriguing idea goes unexplored in his work; he mostly treats the city as a canvas. Equally indifferent are the filmmakers, who don't explore Salvador or the lives of the people Borba supposedly represents—settling for a mere character study as opposed to a civic symphony. In English and subtitled Portuguese.

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