Director: Nicholas Hansen

2005 • COLOUR • 73 MIN.

Three years in the making, this award-winning documentary by Nicholas Hansen looks at the contemporary urban expression that is unsanctioned street art. Made with stencils, stickers, spray cans and paste-ups, street art in Melbourne is as diverse in form as the messages it communicates. Ranging from highly political to simple personal statements, with vastly different aesthetics and motivations, the unifying aim of these artists is to make art for the public — whether they like it or not. As the city prepares to host the 2006 Commonwealth Games, public debate heats up about graffiti art. The film includes interviews with concerned local politicians, but Hansen (himself a visual artist as well as a film-maker) is clearly on the side of the practitioners; he showcases the poetic brilliance of the work, from the raw stencil symbolism of PSALM to KAB 101’s futuristic fantasies. True Live’s Ryan Ritchie provides a pulsating soundtrack to this thrilling study of how the spirit of rebellion is channelled into a very public art form.

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