Ask most everyday people where modern day graffiti was born and most would say New York, but there is an argument from many in the scene that it was in fact the city of Philadelphia. Sly Artistic City is a 2010 documentary which looks back at the history of graffiti in Philadelphia, where the pioneers of tagging became local celebrities in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The craze led to the mayor declaring a war against vandalism, and that fight led to the official Mural Arts Program being launched – that still brings tourists to the city to this day.
The documentary features interviews with various legendary old school graffiti artists including Kool Klepto Kid and Cool Earl, as well as the former mayor of Philly who fought back. The documentary was created by the local journalist Robert Moran, who self-financed the project. Another independent documentary which explores graffiti in Philly is Behind The Writing on the Walls.