Pulled from vast archives documenting 20 years of behind-the-scenes moments in the life of the anonymous French artist JR — intercut with verité footage of his current-day collaborations in such diverse places as a California supermax prison and a free film school in the projects outside of Paris — PAPER & GLUE turns JR’s large-scale public art projects into something very personal and intimate. Neither a biopic, nor an art film, this documentary is a journey that lets audiences discover for themselves the beauty that emerges when those who are too often forgotten are finally given their own spotlight. Through the course of the documentary, we come to understand both the inspiration behind his work, and the unexpected magic that happens when you democratise the power of expression. This film encourages us to recognise the power of art to challenge stereotypes, foster an appreciation for the gift of storytelling, and inspire everyone to find the best in the people around them.
In a time when the world is reeling from catastrophic crises and is so painfully divided — PAPER & GLUE gives hope that it is possible to reconnect using nothing more than “good vibes” and paper and glue.
NR, 94 min., French, Portuguese and Spanish with subtitles.