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Style Wars (1983)

Documentary, Music, Hip-Hop 1h 9m 1983

When director Tony Silver and co-producer Henry Chalfant delivered the broadcast version of their prize-winning film to PBS in 1983, the world received its first full immersion in the phenomenon that had taken over New York City. The urban landscape was physically transformed by graffiti artists who invented a new visual language to express both their individuality, and the voice of their community.

In STYLE WARS, New York’s ramshackle subway system is their public playground, battleground, and spectacular artistic canvas. As MCs, DJs and B-boys rock the city with new sounds and new moves, street corner breakdance battles turn into performance art.

The soundtrack features classics performed by The Sugar Hill Gang, The Treacherous Three, The Fearless Four, Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five, Trouble Funk, Rammellzee & K-Rob, and Dion. New York’s kings of graffiti and B-boys own a special place in the hip hop pantheon. In STYLE WARS they continue to empower new generations with the original spirit of hip hop, as it reached out from underground tunnels, from uptown streets, clubs and playgrounds, to the world at large.

“The Holy Grail of hip-hop movies.” — XLR8R


Tony Silver


Henry Chalfant


Tony Silver







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