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Coming To Sundance: '99%' Swallows Occupy Wall Street's Premise

Coming To Sundance: '99%' Swallows Occupy Wall Street's Premise


A new documentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement called “99%: The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film” will be screening at next month’s Sundance Film Festival; not a shock since the film was produced under the auspices of the Sundance Institute.  

The film’s description certainly seems to paint a rosier outlook for the group than reality would demand:

The sweeping story of the birth of a movement, 99%–The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film follows a disparate group of activists who converge on lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to build a society organized by nonhierarchical decision-making structures. Inspired by the idea that wealth and political power are dangerously concentrated, grassroots groups from Minneapolis to Mississippi to Oakland soon follow suit, converging to focus on issues crucial to their own communities.

Designed in part as an experiment modeled on Occupy’s process, the film employs multiple cameras around the country to capture the kinetic, immediate experience on the ground, peppered with a comprehensive range of viewpoints from activists, experts, and detractors. In an era of hopelessness and resignation, this film is a reminder that another world order is still possible.

Breitbart News contacted the filmmaker’s PR company to ask if the film touched on issues such as the rapes at Occupy, the Black Bloc or the immense amount of money the Occupy movement went through; nearly a million dollars in just a few months. The film’s rep indicated no final decisions had been made because the film is still being edited.

If the film’s official Twitter feed is any indication, the makers of the film seem to be right in line with many of Occupy’s top issues. It’s all standard left media tweets; Walmart is a common target, as are the Tea Party, conservatives and guns:

You get the idea. The film’s official Twitter feed isn’t neutral or balanced, but there isn’t anything wrong with that. 

Documentaries aren’t news; the best documentaries have a strong voice and don’t try to present every possible side of an issue in under two hours. “Occupy Unmasked” certainly takes a bold position on the Occupy movement and served as a counter-narrative to what the mainstream media was telling the public. In spirit of Andrew Breitbart’s belief in “more voices, not less,” there isn’t anything wrong with a pro-Occupy film. 

The problem comes when the media doesn’t admit to its own biases. It will be interesting to see if the filmmakers behind “99%” are able to do that, or if they will portray themselves as unbiased and objective. The filmmakers certainly seem to share the underlying premises and general leftist outlook of the movement. Will they admit this? Time will tell.

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