Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 Enlightenment

In the later half of 2010 I had awoken from a twenty year coma. The coma in which our society and its elites have put us into so that we may be subservient drones to their system of consumption and destruction. There are three documentaries that a brilliant friend of mine introduced to me that played a major role in my enlightenment. Each movie opened my consciousness about our world in a different way.

1) Bomb It by Jon Reiss

 Before seeing this movie, my knowledge about graffiti was very limited. Living in third world cities most of life,  most of my exposure to graffiti had been illegible graffiti rashly sprayed onto random walls, adding to the desperation of a deteriorating building. When I saw graffiti I never really thought twice about it. But if I had seen some of the masterpieces in real life that I saw in this documentary, I think my opinion of graffiti would have been very different. Now where does the awakening of one's consciousness fit into a brilliant graffiti documentary? Bomb It forces one to reconsider and reconstruct their opinion of public space. To quote a graffiti artist in the film, "You didn't ask for my graffiti, I didn't ask for your wall". Before watching Bomb It I had just accepted that skyscrapers and highways were erected, no questions asked;  Each building making the sky less and less visible until we're stuck in a concrete maze running around like rats desperate for cheese. But Bomb It is about more than  property rights, it's about the artists, the history, the ideologies, the global scale of this urban outlaw culture. Bomb It gave me my first taste of , rebellion, and like an appetizer, it made me hunger for more.

2) Zeitgeist: The Movie by Peter Joseph

 Zeitgeist was the main dish in my three-course meal of enlightenment. It awakened the fear necessary to drive one to make a change. The first part discusses the Christ-myth theory which was a huge blow for someone who grew up in a religious environment. But sometimes we need to re-evaluate even the things we have been taught to be true since birth. The second part deals with the 9-11 conspiracy theory that the entire disaster was orchestrated by the United States. The evidence is simultaneously frightening, depressing, and infuriating. The third exposes the truth of the international monetary system and how bankers manipulate it and the media to maintain their power over every single one of us. By the end of this part I was literally depressed and felt like a slave BUT it's important to remember to always be critical viewers and be smart about what's true or false. I'm sure there are many documentaries out there similar to Zeitgeist but if you're looking for a starting point, this one is pretty fascinating.

3) Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy

Now for the desert, the crème de la crème, one of my many inspirations: Banksy. This documentary isn't about Banksy per se, but it does provide interviews and private footage with the elusive street artist. Exit Through the Gift Shop follows the eccentric French shop keeper turned street artist, Thierry Guetta. There has been controversy around the film as to whether parts of it are staged, regardless I think it's a brilliant and hilarious film.  It has been cited as 'one of the most provocative films about art ever made'. The film says a lot about pop culture and art, how easy it is to 'brainwash' our society. Exit Through the Gift Shop was my first real exposure to Banksy and his work and ever since I have  been simultaneously obsessed and inspired. I will definitely be mentioning him in future posts but for now, this documentary provides excellent insight into the work of the most important artist of our generation as well as how easy it is to sway our consumer driven society.

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