Shot between 1981 and 1983 and aired on PBS, Style Wars is remarkable as a relatively early filmed document of hip-hop culture at its source and an intelligent defense of an oft-maligned and misunderstood art form, graffiti.
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I've read about this phenomenon in "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell before; and the story told in that book comes from the New York City government's point of view. However, this film has shown me a new perspective of New York's hip-hop and graffiti culture in the 80s. It is interesting to see both sides of the story.
The glory that is New York City! Was the graffiti on the subway cars artistic expression? An eyesore? A crime? Or was it a visual and colorful reminder that there will always be rule breakers? Maybe it is that, society's demand for conformity, that was the ultimate reason this era ended. Who knows. As Mayor Koch says, "Time will tell."