Occupy the Movies: OWS Moves Out of Zuccotti and Onto the Silver Screen

December 07, 2011 at 4:00 am

The Occupy Wall Street protests have moved out of Zuccotti Park and onto the silver screen.

Next week, the Brooklyn-based arts organization Rooftop Films will premiere the “Films for the Occupation” series at venues across New York City. Three documentaries inspired by issues raised by the Occupy Wall Street movement will be screened, as well as a series of shorts by activists and filmmakers who have documented the movement and other similar actions. 

“As the situation in Zuccotti Park unfolded the last few months, Rooftop Films received countless emails and phone calls from filmmakers, activists, and organizations who felt that it was important to put together screenings of films that focus on the issues that instigated the protests,” said Dan Nuxoll, program director for Rooftop Films, in a press release.

“We were never able to do a screening in the park, unfortunately, but we believe strongly that the discussion must continue, and we think these screenings can help to sustain that conversation.”

Rooftop Films began screening films in quirky, mostly outdoor venues in 2003. By also featuring live music at each screening, they turned the staid, run-of-the-mill film screening into a multifaceted affair.

By attending the screenings, Occupy Wall Street supporters who don’t want to march or occupy a public space, especially in the winter, can show their solidarity.

The series curator and Indiewire contributor Bryce J. Renninger said the program’s goal is to “showcase film and multimedia works that provoke or continue conversations that challenge old ways of thinking and encourage new ones.”


“Just Do It: A Tale of Modern Day Outlaws” (2011) was directed by Emily James.

Well before the Occupy Wall Street movement began, a group of climate activists in the U.K. used many of the same tactics and strategies in their direct actions. Cameras embedded with the group documented the results. Dec. 13, 7 p.m., reRun Gastropub Theater, 147 Front St., Dumbo, Brooklyn

WATCH VIDEO: “Battle for Brooklyn”

The film “Battle for Brooklyn” (2011) was directed by Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley.

The Atlantic Yards super development, which is bringing the New Jersey Nets (soon to be the Brooklyn Nets) to the borough, is the subject of this documentary. An Oscar 2012 shortlist contender, “Battle for Brooklyn” tells the story of the government-approved project that uprooted families and businesses by use of eminent domain. Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, 53 Prospect Park West, Park Slope, Brooklyn


“The Flaw” (2010) was directed by David Sington.

This investigation into what caused the recent economic collapse features archival cartoons to explain free market economics. Filmmaker David Sington concludes that capitalism is to blame. The film is being shown with Matthew Modine’s short, “Jesus was a Commie.” Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan

WATCH VIDEO: “Fist Bump With Cops”

“Fist Bump with Cops” (2011) was directed by Rumur.

Various filmmakers and activists filmed tidbits at Occupy Wall Street, as well as similar protests, and these shorts will be screened together.  Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m., Union Docs, 322 Union Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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