Berlinale film review: Exit Through The Gift Shop (2009) by Banksy

Article published on Feb. 17, 2010
community published
Article published on Feb. 17, 2010
Who what? Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010) is a 'pseudo-documentary' of the British graffiti artist Banksy, the street art stencil legend. Not only has his talented work brought him exorbitantly priced sales but he has remained invisible throughout - no-one has ever seen him!
But the film isn't about his life: it's about the French shopkeeper-cum-fan-cum-filmmaker who wanted to make a film about Banksy. Nor did it debut at Berlin this week, but at the Sundance festival in January.

Trailer: 'Exit Through The Gift Shop'

Why should I go and watch the film?

Film poster To (re-)discover the world of street art. To appreciate the humour and irony of Banksy as well as his sector, which has been delivered via a pacifist rebellion

Strong points

Excellent description of the world of graffiti. Good rhythm for a film. Lots of creativity, self-derision and that oh-so-British humour. Banksy succeeds in thumbing his nose at the pitfalls of modern art - i.e. saying it's in just because it's 'in'

Weak points

Have you ever heard a French person speaking rubbish English for an hour? Unbearable

Rating out of 5: ****

4/5: a bit of humour, irony and self-mocking in this world of depressed people, cameras and mainstream Hollywooders does some good

Post-premiere reactions

Laughs from the first minutes into the film when Banksy announces: 'This film is good, I think, especially if you're not expecting much.' Huge disappointment at there being no press conference though ;)

Watching this film will make you want to

Run and find this Thierry Guetta alias Mister Brainwash, who is allegedly based in LA - does he really exist? Or is it another one of Banksy's pranksies...

By Sebastien Vannier live from the Berlin film festival

Check out images of our curious correspondents in Berlin going on the Banksy mystery hunt in Berlin here