A Movie Guide to Occupy Wall Street

These groups are a lightning rod for a dizzying array of America's ills, from gargantuan student loans to joblessness to vampiric bankers

Filmmakers Alex Gibney (“Enron”), Peter Joseph (“Zeitgeist”), Michael Moore (“Capitalism: A Love Story”) and Charles Ferguson (“Inside Job”) top the list of documentarians whose work scrutinizes the establishment and actually calls it what it is: damaged goods.  

As Occupy Wall Street spawns a number of offshoots including Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Colleges and Occupy Seattle, its protestors defy boxes and squares, labels and tags and the status quo. Instead, these groups are a lightning rod for a dizzying array of America's ills, from gargantuan student loans to joblessness to vampiric bankers.

CRY BABIES IN DIRTY UNDERWEAR

While OWS may be perceived as a collective expression of jealousy and the lazy man's attempt at a money grab, it's about humanity and our course for survival. The gripe: total disgust and dissatisfaction. The problem: our system. The system: ongoing crimes by the corporatocracy. The divide: political parties. The poison: money.  The protestor: you. The goal: change. The modification plan: to be determined.  [Listen to official OWS statement [Read official OWS statement]

But what about our perceptions? How do we handle the media spin?

SHOOT THE MESSENGER, OR FLIP THE SCRIPT?

You choose:

a. the mainstream media should deride the protestors for not having a clear list of policy demands that can lead to real change for the tanking economy. 

b. the mainstream media should lambast the government and Wall Street for continuing to tank the economy.

c. the mainstream media is an obsolete, irrelevant tool of the corporatocracy.

BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS, OR SIGNALING THE ALARM BELL?

You choose:

a. if a protestor is using an iPod, has an account on Google, pictures on Facebook, money at Chase, and receipts from Wal-mart, he/she is a hypocrite.

b. if a U.S. citizen sucks power from the electrical grid, drives a car, has plastic bottles, Tupperware, toys, pharmaceutical drugs, or telephones, and complains about gas prices or carbon emissions, he/she is a hypocrite.

c. since today's protestors were born into a society where means of communication, clothing production, food production, and money distribution are provided and controlled by corporations, using cutting-edge technology to address societal problems is fair play.

TOP 10 WEB CLIPS

1. Quantitative Easing Explained 
2. Trader on the BBC says Eurozone Market will crash
3. Financial Derivatives: What are They?
4. Jacque Fresco: US has never been a democracy
5. Who is Peter Joseph? by Charles Robinson
6. Occupy Wall Street Interview with Chris Hedges
7. Anonymous: the new face of cyber-war
8. Occupy Wall Street: Police brutality, media blackout
9. Jim Rogers America is Collapsing pt 1/5
10. RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms

OWNED OR OCCUPYING?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW DID WE GET HERE? 

How did city council members, anti-capitalists, small business owners, foreclosed homeowners, indebted college students, union leaders, retired teachers, veterans, nurses, 401(k) pension holders, medical patients, pro-lifers, pro-choice advocates, twentysomethings and fiftysomethings of every race, color, and creed come together under a single banner: "We Are The 99%"? 

Here's a list of films that help explain the birth of a movement:

TOP 10 FILMS

1. Inside Job (2010) dir. Charles Ferguson, written by Charles Ferguson, Chad Beck, 108 min.: This Oscar-winning documentary from Sony Classics piles on the chronic aches and pains of Wall Street, from Lehman Brothers to AIG, mapping out the systemic corruption that causes the financial crisis to keep bleeding.

2. Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) dir. Michael Moore, written by Michael Moore, 127 min.: With the U.S. subprime mortgage fiasco well under way and the casino mentality in full throttle, Moore goes door to door looking for a sound explanation of why we trust in a system that is leaving more and more people behind.

3. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011) dir. Peter Joseph, 161 min.: This non-commercial follow-up to "Zeitgeist" Parts I and II,  "Moving Forward" is perhaps the most widely viewed non-profit film in history with over 10+ million views on Youtube and an international following. Tossing out all of the 'isms' including capitalism, socialism and communism, the film proposes something new.

4. Enron:  The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) dir. Alex Gibney, written by Bethany McLean, Peter Eikind, Alex Gibney, 109 min.: Obsession, compulsion, and addiction, coupled with shell companies and a high stakes game of endless profits, created the deception and fraud that ultimately drove Enron into the ground.

5. Food, Inc. (2008) dir. Robert Kenner, written by Robert Kenner, Kim Roberts, Elise Pearlstein: The "spinning of a pastoral fantasy" gets unspun in this must-watch look at the food on our dinner table and the wage slaves who bastardize it for the big companies that monetize Mother Nature.

6. 2012: Time for Change (2010) dir. Joao G. Amorim, 85 min.: Even if you're not into shamanism or psychedelic drugs, "Time for Change" offers more than just Iboga roots to chew on.

7. The Corporation (2003) dir. Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott, 145 min.: A history of the institution that dominates our lives, The Corporation examines how organizations become psychopathic. 

8. A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006) dir. Basil Gelpke, Ray McCormack, 94 min.: Peak oil may be the one elephant in the room we're hoping the techocrats and wizards can chase away, but as this doc explains, no magic wand is that big.

9. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005) dir. Robert Greenwald, 98 min.: Wal-Mart is the poster child for an American corporation gone bad in this in-depth analysis of how the retail giant keeps prices low and profits high. 

10. Casino Jack (2010) dir. Alex Gibney, written by Alex Gibney, 118 min.: Wherever money and politics meet, lobbyist Jack Abramoff leaps in through the back door, highlighting just how much the fabric of the U.S. government resembles swiss cheese.