SCR/CAM/ED Velcrow Ripper
PROD CO Fierce Love Films
Is love ideological? Can it mean engaging in certain political actions and not in others? Can it have a practical, global agenda? Velcrow Ripper says yes, and builds a strong case for his belief in this stirring documentary. Focusing on the Occupy movement—mainly but not exclusively in New York City—Ripper documents political love as a phenomenon of communal, as opposed to largely individual, action. There are more specifics: global economic justice, First Nations tradition, opposition to corporate capitalism and environmentalism are identified with love, which, in the film’s terms, means advocacy for a greater number of people than corporate conservatism is capable of serving.
This is a film of many voices. Prominent figures such as Judy Rebick, Jeremy Rifkin, bell hooks and Naomi Klein speak to Ripper, but they’re never differentiated from the mass of unified protesters. We hear the voices of these protesters too, both individually and collectively, in the sounds of chants and the sights of collectively carried banners. This radically communal activism has a wonderful paradox: it allows for greater individual power. Thousands deep in parks, at city halls and on the streets, the Occupiers gain strength not only from their numbers but from the mixture of cohesion and diversity. Their agenda is broad but not incoherent, expansive but not contradictory. What the film shows, triumphantly, is that love can unite as much as greed can divide.