Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression | Chicago Reader

Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression

Director Max Good profiles urban citizens who cover up grafitti and employ many of the same vigilante tactics as taggers. His amateurish documentary (2011) offers some interesting food for thought, asking the viewer to consider whether a work of art should be respected if it desecrates public property and whether censorship can be a creative act too. Good is clearly biased in favor of street artists; interviewing subects on camera, he praises graffiti as socially constructive, sidestepping how it’s used by gangs to mark territory. By comparison the interviewees tend to be more nuanced in their thinking—even the anti-graffiti activists he sets out to portray as single-minded. This ends up being open-ended and provocative in spite of the director's didacticism, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.


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