About a week ago, I attended a screening of the film Occupy Love in Boulder, Colorado, There were a hundred or more people there to see this highly anticipated film. Bits and pieces of the film had been out for over a year, but the film in its 85 minute entirety promised to be quite something. It did not disappoint. Filmed all over the world, from Egypt to the Occupy encampments in NYC to the Albertan Tar Sands, the film holds in one container both the despair that we collectively feel about the destruction of our planet as well as the longing and great promise we feel to contribute to a better future, one that holds the respect for our planet and each other as self-evident and primary.
Velcrow Ripper, the film’s director, is no stranger to films that challenge us. Here is a quote summarizing his work:
Scared Sacred takes us on a journey to the ground zeroes of the world – places like New York City during 9.11, Afghanistan, Hiroshima, Bosnia, Cambodia, Israel and Palestine. In each of those places, I discovered some of the most remarkable individuals I have ever met. I found that there were two things that the survivors all had in common, that helped them get through the crises they faced with their spirits transformed, not crushed: having a source of meaning, which was different for each of them, and taking action.
This led to the second film, Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action, which explores the relationship between spirituality and activism. There has long been an artificial divide between these two important aspects of human society, and this film explores the power that is released when the two come together.
In Occupy Love I ask the question: how is the economic and ecological crises we are facing a great love story? I have gone beyond the word “spiritual” to the deeper, and more universal word, “Love.” The last lines of “Fierce Light” are, “Another world is here, right now: listen.” On the sound track you can hear the rumblings of a volcano, the sleeping woman – who is now wide awake. Occupy Love explores this awakening, this revelation of our shared heart, and our shared oppression, and the process of working together to transform the bankrupt system of today into a world that works for all life. The Occupy movement, and the related movements that are erupting around the world, from the Arab Spring, to the European Summer, are all a part of this awakening.
The film’s producer, Ian MacKenzie (a talented director and crowd-funding expert in his own right), came on to the Occupy Love team assisting Velcrow, but Velcrow said at the Occupy Love screening in Boulder that now “Ian is my mentor.” It is clear that the collaborative chemistry between these two visionary men is going to challenge us for years to come, and in ways unexpected.
Transition Town Media presents Occupy Love, April 30th, at the Media Community Center, 4th and Jackson Streets, Media. 7 – 9 pm. $10.00 suggested donation at the door. All proceeds are being used as a fund-raiser for both Transition Town Media and the film’s creators in order to allow them to release the film more broadly.