Short documentary films about the most important social movement of the 21st century
Documentary Shorts from the Occupy Movement
When thousands of people concerned about growing economic inequality gathered in Zuccotti Park in New York City on September 17, 2011, there was little indication that they would fundamentally transform American political debate and ignite a full-scale national and global protest movement. But within a year, the Occupy Wall Street protestors had done just that.
This powerful collection of short films, made by Occupy protestors on the ground, tells the story of the movement in real time. While the films range in length from just one to ten minutes, their combined force is spellbinding. Together they show how a fledgling movement came out of nowhere to challenge Wall Street's rapacious and predatory practices, force economic inequality and corporate greed onto the mainstream political agenda, and capture the imagination of the world. The result is a fascinating and multifaceted portrait of one of the defining political struggles of our time.
is especially suitable for courses in political science, government, economics, history, human rights, sociology, social justice and activism, and for campus event programming dedicated to social issues. The films were curated by Nick Shimkin, a film programmer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY.
"Why Don't You Join Us?" -- MK12
"Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution" -- Iva Radivojevic & Martyna Starosta
"Consensus" -- Meerkat Media Collective
"Homeowners Speak" -- Messiah Rhodes
"Occupy the Hood" -- Adele Pham
"The Eviction of Zuccotti Park" -- Laura Newman
"The Morning After the Eviction" -- Messiah Rhodes
"ReOccupy Oakland" -- Adele Pham
"Homeless Family Occupies Foreclosed Home in Brooklyn" -- Yes Lab at the Hemispheric Institute
"We are Farmers, We Grow Food for the People" -- Food Democracy Now
"Foreclose the Banks" -- Mcnair Scott
"We the People Have Found Our Voice" -- Iva Radevojevic & Martyna Starosta
"New York Students Rising" -- Matthew Kulvicki
"OccupyMuseums MoMA Banner Drop @ Diego Rivera Exhibit" -- Messiah Rhodes
"Occupy the DOE" - Meerkat Media Collective
"Grounded TV Network Occupy Wall Street Coverage - An Interview with Naomi Klein" -- Syd Woodward, Grounded TV Network
"Occupy Wall Street 'Bat Signal' for the 99%" -- Mark Read, Occupy TVNY
"Official Occupy Wall Street Thank You" -- David Sauvage
Praise for the Film
"This is what happens when you put digital technology in the hands of smart young people who have complete mastery over it -- high-level production values with grassroots content. I you want to know what the Occupy movement is all about, and what its 'demands' are, watch these films. They're clear evidence that we are witnessing not only a serious revolt against global inequality, but also a joyous revolution of the mind and imagination."
- Naomi Klein | Author of No Logo
& The Shock Doctrine
"The Occupy movement is spectacular and unprecedented; there's never been anything like it that I can think of. If the bonds and associations that are being established at these remarkable events can be sustained, this could turn out to be a very significant moment in American history."
- Noam Chomsky
"Confounding claims that US citizens would be resigned to capitalist crisis, then bailouts chiefly for corporate interests, and then austerity to pay for them, Occupy Wall Street proved a powerful partner to the general strikes and leftward shifts transforming Europe's politics. As the crisis deepens unevenly across global capitalism, so too do the rising movements for social change. Mic Check
provides a well-crafted window into the first big US step in that rising."
- Richard D. Wolff | Author of Capitalism Hits the Fan
and Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism
"As much by the movement as about it, Mic Check
allows us to see the blossoming of a new social movement in the words and actions of its participants. It gets inside the movement in a way that the mainstream media never do to provide a powerful and uncompromising view of the lives and motivations of the thousands of people that have given life to the Occupy movement in its diverse forms. Never dry or staged, Mic Check
calls for us in a very imminent human voice to examine our own role in the political, economic, and environmental crises of our age."
- Alex S. Vitale | Associate Professor | Department of Sociology | Brooklyn College
is a soulful, cinematic adventure from inside the largest social movement in recent history."
- Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism
explores the nature and spectacular rise of the "Occupy" movement, from a modest encampment at the foot of the Wall Street goliath to a global force for democracy and social justice. A provocative look at the trials, inter-workings, and roaring successes of one of the most important movements of our time, and the multitude of micro-movements it spawned. As vibrant, diverse, and momentous as the movement itself."
- Dr. Heather Gautney | Professor of Sociology at Fordham University | Author of Protests and Organization in the Alternative Globalization Era: NGOs, Anti-authoritarian Movements, and Political Parties
, while capturing the excitement of the rise of the Occupy/Decolonize movement, moves beyond the encampments to highlight the movement's promise. Its emphasis on the ongoing battles around housing and foreclosures, education funding and food justice, debt and direct democracy, give it an importance that goes far beyond the actions it documents from the movement's first six months."
- Daniel Lang/Levitsky & Amy Schrager Lang | Co-editors of Dreaming In Public: Building the Occupy Movement
"The significance of the Occupy movement has been subject to much discussion and debate. This collection is a fine addition to that dialogue. These short films allow us to re-visit the sense of excitement and possibility that many felt when Occupy exploded onto the scene. They provide bite-sized glimpses into different aspects of the movement: anti-eviction direct actions, mic checks at school boards, the inner-workings of the general assemblies, and much more. Mic Check
stands out as one of the most compelling contributions on Occupy so far."
- Derek Seidman | Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at Trinity College
takes us on a fascinating personal tour of the Occupy movement, helping us to see how grotesque economic and social inequality impacts each and every one of us. An arresting and powerful film for anyone hoping to better understand this crucially important political moment."
- Simon Critchley | Professor of Philosophy at The New School
"These short films show the occupations from the inside: the intensity and excitement on the ground, the confrontations with police, and the theme of economic injustice from those who feel it in their personal lives."
- Dr. Jack Hammond | Professor of Sociology at Hunter College
is a fabulous gift and tool for our movements. Made by movement participants, capturing the voices of people in the movements as they simultaneously protest and create something new, based in a vision of a new world. This is a film to watch, share, watch again and celebrate -- as we celebrate the many new worlds in our hearts and under construction in the streets."
- Marina Sitrin | Participant in the Occupy movement | Author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina
, Occupying Language
and Everyday Revolutions
beautifully captures the spirit of a unique historical moment,
when people across the United States stood up and joined the global
uprising against a profoundly unjust system. Together, the short segments
offer a multidimensional view of what took place, showing the diversity of
locations, people, issues, and ideas -- as well as the deep current of unity
underlying our common struggle for a way of life that is democratic, fair,
- Stephanie McMillan | Cartoonist: Minimum Security
and Code Green
| Author of The Beginning of the American Fall
brings the viewer into the front lines of one of the most important social movements of our time, through the eyes of grassroots filmmakers."
- Sarah van Gelder | Co-Founder of YES!
Magazine | Author of This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement