Satire can be a powerful tool in making us second-guess our beliefs and assumptions in an indirect way. When I first watched “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, it didn’t even occur to me that it wasn’t real. The amateur shaky camera movements, the seeming danger of it all, the real-life characters– I never doubted it for a minute. However, in retrospect and after hearing the opinions of others in the class, I feel foolish for my failure to integrate the film’s context with its message. The fact that the subject of the film was Banksy gave it authenticity in my mind (the question of why is a conversation in and of itself), when it should have given me the opposite, knowing that Banksy is known for trickery and satire.
However, regardless of whether the film is real or fake, does it make the message any less legitimate? Either way, we are tricked. If we think that the film is real and it is staged, we are tricked but on the other hand, if the plot is real, all of the art world is tricked into paying big money for commercialized mediocre street art developed by a goony Frenchman overnight, just because he learned how to play “the game”.