Grierson developed a conviction that motion pictures could play a central role in promoting this process.” (Alternative Perth History online source). In other words, Grierson believed that films have the power to communicate problems in society to a wider audience and can inspire them to get involved with social and political issues. In the case of Exit Through The Gift Shop, this would mean that after seeing the film, an audience wouldn't 'fall into the trap' of a false street artist like Guetta and would not buy any of his merchandise or promote his work any further to be 'art'. In my critical analyses essay I argued that Banksy used his documentary film to disclose Thierry's unethical exploration of street art as he showed to an audience that Thierry is ‘no real artist’- as Banksy and other street artists state in the film. I believe Banksy’s goal was to make the audience realize that Thierry stole his ideas so that in the future they won’t buy his copycat art any more. The film also encourages us to look closer at art and be more critical in judging its value- and the artist's originality. The film's overall message was that what counts is the original idea of the artist. But at the same time I argue that Banksy also had a selfish reason why he made this film: to promote himself and his art. Hence, my thesis is that Banksy used Exit Through The Gift Shop as part of his self-promotion strategy that is based on mystery. For the purpose of this argumentative essay, I identify my audience to be cinemagoers who I want to convince that Exit Through The Bookshop is not just a documentary, but also an indirect promotional advert for Banksy and his art that is 'disguised' as a documentary. Having read numerous online reviews of Exit Of The Giftshop by film-critics and newspapers, the general opinion of journalists agrees with my statement that Banksy also used the film to promote himself. However, there are some critics who have overlooked Banksy's self-promotion in the film, or don't give it much importance. For example, film critic Devin Faracu refers to this issue just to be 'self-mystification' and doesn't call it 'self-promotion'. Instead, Faracu chooses in his review to focus on the important message about street art the film communicates: ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop works on a lot of levels – as a history of the street art scene, as a look at a very strange Frenchman and his weird life, and as a conversation starter on what is good art and what is bad art. It seems to be a conversation that’s especially relevant to the street artists, as they’re working in a medium that’s illegal, looked down upon and usually the province of disaffected 14 year olds. They’re obviously doing something bigger than simple graffiti – one look at Banksy’s astonishing and moving work on the West Bank Barrier proves that.' But I argue that the film can't just be analyzed regarding what it has done to raise the profile of street art generally, but also that the film needs to be analyzed with baring in mind that it is also an advert for Banksy himself. There are several indications that Banksy carefully constructed the film as part of his self-promotion strategy: 1) He
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Did Banksy use the documentary film Exit Through The Gift Shop to promote himself?
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