Watch & Learn: Occupy Love

How can the climate crisis be turned into the greatest love story on Earth?

We humans are obsessed with the concept of love. We even picked one entire day of the year to celebrate it and so in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this edition of Watch & Learn is about the highly influential, somewhat controversial Occupy Love made by Velcrow Ripper.

What is Occupy Love about?

Occupy Love is an 86-minute documentary directed by Canadian film maker, Velcrow Ripper and is the final film in The ‘Fierce Love’ Trilogy. Released in 2013, the film explores contemporary issues related to the environment, socio-economic dynamics, international politics, the shared economy, revolution and love. Occupy Love takes viewers on a journey across chronological and political borders with the intention of connecting the dots between various international movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the Egyptian Revolution in the hope of helping us understand that one group’s politics invariably become the other’s as well.

What stood out for us in the film?

A big part of Occupy Love focuses on the events that took place at the camps in Occupy Wall Street. Questioning the existing power structures and monopolistic economic tendencies of contemporary industry, Occupy Wall Street certainly raised important questions on sustainable development, the value of the shared economy and the true implications of publicly shared resources. The idea of community resonates strongly through the film and its impact as an alternative to existing power structures has been explored from the lens of socio-political revolutions such as those in Egypt, which were strongly influenced and successful owing to the efforts of younger citizens who used social media and the Internet as facilitating tools. What makes this film so interesting is not so much the coverage of these events but the connections made between them in order to explain the trajectory of recent political and economic events.

Why is this film a part of our list?

Occupy Love is an aesthetic and thought provoking work of cinematographic art. Through contextual explorations of concepts such as the shared economy and open source/open access, this film urges us to step out of our comfort zone and understand such concepts in a more global setting and yet asks us to appreciate the differences in local perspective that are responsible in the creation of culture. Anyone interested in intellectual property rights, ownership of information and property, socio-political rights and representations of minority or less powerful groups, and the open access versus copyright paradigm will certainly find Velcrow Ripper’s portrayal insightful and interesting. As law-makers, policy formulators and right holders we often make the mistake of considering norms and actions in a vacuum – Occupy Love forces us to reconsider that isolation and replace it with a more global, community oriented approach towards life, innovation and politics.

If you’re thinking of a good film to catch this Valentine’s Day or perhaps sometime in the future, we definitely recommend you give Occupy Love a watch. If you have already watched the film, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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