Activist Film: “American Autumn: An Occudoc”
By David Swanson
Dennis Trainor, Jr., has produced a full-length movie of the Occupy movement, and he’s done a hell of a great job.
The Occupy movement was created, as are all movements in the United States, in large part by the corporate media. They didn’t understand it. They didn’t want it. They didn’t originate it or take part in it or develop its brilliants insights, effective techniques, or inspiring courage. They transmitted what to them was an indecipherable code that reached their viewers and readers with the obvious clarity of a crack on the head. They got huge assists from brutal cops and incompetent mayors. But it was the corporate media that took something in one city and made it big and made it national.
Occupy is Growing
Then, as always, the corporate media turned hostile and lost interest and went away.
The Occupy movement goes on. It is growing and developing. But even many within it talk about it as existing only when it’s on television.
What’s missing is purely the will to actually think as if a revolution can go untelevised and be a revolution.
That’s it. Don’t blame something else.
We have the capacity to communicate . And that capacity just expanded dramatically. Because we now have a film of our own.
Whose Movie? Our Movie!
This is not amateur hour. This is a movie as well made, in technical terms, as any Hollywood blockbuster with Pentagon funding. But this is a movie with us in it. I don’t mean our little group of activist friends. I mean us, the people of this country, our stories, our hardships, our triumphs, our injustices, our tragedies, our humor. This is radically different from what you’ll see at your local movie theater.
Outside of this country, people view us through our military bases, through their local news, and overwhelmingly through the slime that oozes out of the movie studios of the 1%. Imagine if the world viewed us through an honest filter. It can do so right here: http://occudoc.org
This movie is terrific for the people of the United States to see as well. While we occupiers call ourselves the 99%, only a fraction of a percent have participated in a major way. The rest have learned about a movement aimed at including them — through a communications cartel aimed at disempowering them. The inactive 99% of the 99% should see the solidarity shining through this film. They should feel the power that comes from being active, and being active together. They will get beyond the notion that “those activists” are different from them if they see us in this movie with its diversity of voices all gathering around a common theme. And they will get beyond the question of whether activism will succeed quickly or at all, replacing it with the question, “What power on earth is going to keep me from joining in something this incredible?” Anyone and everyone, including 1%ers grown curious about the rest of the species, can take a look right here: http://occudoc.org.
We ourselves, of course, have to ask the right questions too. This is, more than anything else, a movie for us to see. It will inspire you to jump back into the streets if you’ve been out of them. And it will provide a substantive explanation of why, through the stories and actions shown, and through Dennis’ extremely well-done commentary, inserted in just the right quantity. You’ll see things you remember and probably things you never knew about. You’ll hear the music, not of a movie soundtrack, but the music produced live in the occupations, music that could give life to the deadest of defeated dreamers. You’ll see the arts and props of the Backbone Campaign and many others who’ve contributed to this ongoing struggle in creative ways. You’ll watch the power of nonviolence and see reinforced the need to maintain and expand it. Take a look: http://occudoc.org
American Autumn moves, like Occupy, beyond the streets. We watch home foreclosure resistance in action. We see a movement building the demand for Medicare for All. We see the activism and the personal stories of horrendous and unjust, unnecessary suffering — combined with the determination to push back and to do so long-term, relentlessly. We see labor come into the movement and the possibility realized of persuading organized labor to act on its own behalf and all of ours. War and the war economy take the stage as central opponents of peace and justice. Student debt, the environment, energy, agriculture, homelessness, the prison business, and money in elections: these crises and the organizing around them are brought together by resistance to government by the 1%.
The film takes on not only the need for election reform, but the virtual uselessness of elections under the current system, the corruption of Obama, and the evil of lesser-evilism. Imagine, as this film does, what would happen if everyone paying attention to the great Romney-Obama battle were paying attention to what needs to change and where hope lies. They can get a start at http://occudoc.org. Φ
David Swanson’s books include “War Is A Lie.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook. This article was originally posted at http://warisacrime.org/content/american-autumn-occudoc.