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Occupy Love

April 13, 2013

From the Arab Spring, to the European Summer, to the Occupy Movement, to the global climate justice movement, a profound shift is taking place: Humanity is waking up to the fact that the dominant system of power is failing to provide us with health, happiness, or meaning.

The old paradigm that concentrates wealth, founded on the greed of the few, is collapsing. Endless growth on a finite planet cannot be sustained.

The resulting crisis has become the catalyst for a profound transformation: Millions of people are deciding that enough is enough — the time has come to create a new world, a world that works for all life.

When documentary filmmaker Velcrow Ripper went down to Zuccotti Park on September 17th, 2011, he didn’t know what to expect. As it turned out, that date marked the beginning of an unprecedented global movement – Occupy Wall Street – which would soon become the foundation for his film project, Occupy Love.

“We really didn’t know that first week what was going to happen, or if it was even going to last,” said Ripper, “But then, it just started to build momentum and turn into this vast snowball. And suddenly, it’s one of the most extraordinary movements I’ve seen in history.”

After spending time in New York documenting the Wall Street protests as they unfolded, Ripper took off to capture what was happening within other movements in Spain, Egypt and the UK. Despite the obvious differences in each country’s political climate, he says the independent Occupations all share a common bond.

“I really have seen consistently that the bedrock of this whole movement really is love,” said Ripper, explaining the motivation behind his new film’s title. “It’s not the private love of romance. It’s a public love,” he said. “I really feel that this compassion and love – a sense of interconnectedness – is really recognized around the world, everywhere I go in this movement.”

And although the film delves into the various movements related to Occupy Wall Street, the director says that’s not all it’s about. “It’s called Occupy Love but really, it’s about this naturally arising human impetus. And I think it’s towards greater and greater empathy, towards greater and greater compassion, towards living in a world of collaboration, and interdependence. And I think it’s actually our natural progression as human beings,” he said.

“As long as we come back to that sense of compassion and this belief that a world that works for all life is possible. Evolutions take time, but if our process is really founded on embodied love, then we can’t lose. We’ve already won.”

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