Can Art Stop A Bullet: William Kelly's Big Picture

Virtual Performance Dates: 
Saturday, February 27, 2021 to Friday, December 31, 2021
Q and A with Filmmaker following the film session:
Fiona Cochrane
Film Length:
Film Language:
Premier Status: 
Date Completed: 
August, 2019


Winner Award of Excellence Accolade Global Film Competition Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2020 The Twilight Tokyo Film Festival Accolade Global Film Competition REMI WINER 53rd Annual Worldfest• Houston International Film Festival 2020 Silver Award TV & Film Awards 2020 Legacy Award AFMX Awards Ceremony Albuquerque Film Festival 2020 Grand Jury Prize Richmond International Film Festival 2020 Winner Award of Merit Special Mention Indie Fest Winner Best Documentary-Arts” ATOM Awards (Australian Teachers of Media Inc.) Won Bronze Prize: Best Documentary Feature Social Justice Film Festival 2020 Seattle, WA

William Kelly, widely considered the social conscience of Australian art, once said “Art can’t stop a bullet, but it can stop a bullet from being fired.”
Can it?
Filmed on five continents, with contributions from over 20 artists, thinkers and activists, this documentary explores the power of art to influence the violence in our world.
The film documents the creation of Kelly’s monumental artwork “Peace or War/The Big Picture”. It is a tapestry of history and art, drawn from major artworks and photos from the defining conflicts of their times. This immense visual collage allows the audience to navigate through time and place, meeting survivors of these horrific moments in history and the artists who have created work commenting on these periods, some of which have become iconic.
Through Kelly’s drawings, the audience is transported to the concentration camps of the Third Reich, the bombing of Hiroshima, “the troubles” in Ireland, the race riots in the US and Pol Pot’s Year Zero. Interwoven with archival footage of these cataclysmic events, the audience is invited to visit anti-war and anti-gun demonstrations today, events that call for similar injustices to be stopped. The film is a parallel work to Kelly’s enduring masterpiece, unfolding to create the ‘Big Picture’ in documentary form.


Mark Street

in Drama, Comedy, and Documentary.  Mark has produced arts segments for on-air and online: featuring artists, curators, galleries and musicians from Gilbert and George to the Bollywood film festival. And filming in locations as diverse as Alice Springs to Cape Town in South Africa. His work in the arts continued with Inside Art a series independent from the ABC,  based in all the major galleries in Melbourne including the NGV, the Arts Centre, and ACCA. He met William Kelly whilst producing a documentary on the development of art in regional Victorian towns.