Occupy Love


Produced and directed by Velcrow Ripper

Review by Caspar Walsh

Global issues such as climate change and social inequality are not technical, scientific or monetary issues. At their heart is the battle between corrupt power and authentic love. This is the premise of the extraordinary new documentary, Occupy Love.

Through insider footage from recent social revolutions such as the Arab spring, the Indignado uprising in Spain, Occupy Wall Street in New York, and Indigenous peoples’ movements in Canada, the film connects the dots between them.

Revealing an emerging new paradigm of interconnection, compassion and equality, we hear from visionary spokespeople for alternative systems of economics, sustainability and empathy, including Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben and Charles Eisenstein.

An antidote to total apathy in the face of corruption and fear can be found in this film. What the world needs now – as well as love – is more filmmakers like Ripper.

His debut feature Bones of the Forest (1995) won twelve major awards. His talent continues to shine through with Occupy Love, visually, narratively, and most importantly, through a rare mix of open-heartedness and tenacity for the truth.

Would it be sentimental to focus on love as the solution to the many crises the world now faces? In any other storyteller’s hands, possibly.

My response to Ripper’s latest offering was visceral and emotional. It left me electrified with a belief that if love is indeed the answer then there is certainly hope for us yet, and plenty of it. And if love is the drug, then this is a shot in the arm to lift broken spirits ground down by an undoubtedly broken system.

Occupy Love reminds us all that change driven by love is not only possible but is happening right now, worldwide. The difficult question we are left with is can we keep loving, even when what we see happening breaks our hearts?

The London premier of Occupy Love is at HUB Kings Cross on Friday 14 June 2013 at 7pm, including a Q&A with the director. It is also being screened at HUB Islington on Thursday 4 July at 6:30pm.

Screenings are also taking place worldwide, and the film can be watched online, or you can organise your own community screening.

The film’s director is running a workshop titled Love in a Time of Crisis & The Power of Crowdfunding on 15 June at Illumina Studies, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.