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The Film

Beyond the Walls: About the Film

The modern mural movement began in the late 1960’s in the United States in response to the Viet Nam War and other social movements. Murals as a form of expression quickly spread throughout the world.

Mural historian Timothy Drescher, PhD states, “Mural painting has become one of the currencies in which social movements take place.”

Community murals are created to remember the past, to bring communities together for a common purpose and to speak out about issues of current importance. New York artist Nina Lasky believes that murals are, ““bringing people together for something bigger than our individual missions.”

Murals bring communities together to tell the stories of their life experiences which are often ignored by mainstream media. “We’ve recorded those experiences as witnesses on those walls,” says Will Kelly of The Bogside Artists in Northern Ireland.

Beyond The Walls tells the stories, through murals, as depicted on the walls in the West Bank, Northern Ireland, Liberia, El Salvador, Argentina, Australia, and the United States. Local activists, artists and community participants expand on the issues and conflicts in these areas. During the film, we come to understand how community murals are created and the purposes they serve, both past and present.

Argentine activist and mural artist sums it up, “Painting next to someone who is not from the same social class that you are, who has not the same color of skin that you have, that may change your way of thinking.”

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