Often-inspiring Buck-up-a-movement Doc Occupy Love Will Amp Up the Protest Set


“Today I can’t help feeling that the entire planet is on the verge of becoming ground zero,” Velcrow Ripper declares in the opening minutes of his buck-up-a-movement doc Occupy Love. That “can’t help feeling” serves as an early warning about the film’s true subject: what Ripper feels about the world, the Occupy protests, and his hopes for the latter to salvage the former. He’s on firm, scarred ground when itemizing Occupy Wall Street’s complaints about the damage that barely regulated capitalism has wrought upon glaciers, homeowners, and air-breathers. He’s less certain when he and his talking heads insist that the uprisings of the Arab Spring, of the Spanish anti-foreclosure movement, and the stateside Occupiers are nothing less that world-saving collective expressions of humanistic love. “The most important thing that’s ever happened on our planet,” one fellow declares. Another insists “Love can be the liberating force for humanity because it’s so primal and so simple, like light.” Vague as all this is, the photography is beautiful, the scenes of crowds and their signs arresting, and the interviews with individual protesters—in Tahrir Square, Zuccotti Park, teargassed Oakland, and even melting Greenland—are often inspiring. Lefty doc mainstay Naomi Klein turns up to add some intellectual rigor to all the revolution/evolution poetry, but a kid environmentalist tells us why nature is better than the pricks at his school: It “doesn’t tell you you’re a stupid idiot.” This will be a hit with protesters looking to amp themselves up with footage of a murmuration of starlings, here illustrating the power of shared consciousness. It could be bigger still with rightwingers eager to dismiss everything Occupy as hopelessly naive.