January 26, 2012

Sundance 2012: Thoughts On Moving the Masses

I woke up way later than intended to this morning and had to rush out the door, so some of my clothes might be on the wrong way today.

But I made it to my panel with plenty of time to spare. The panel dealt with the movements, activists, and protests that have become common place in the last year. On the panel was Lois Gibbs (a subject in A Fierce Green Fire), Peter Staley (a subject of Hoe To Survive a Plague), Omar Shargawi ( director of 1/2 Revolution), and author Naomi Wolf. All of them have been active in movements before, from the uprising in Cairo a year ago, to the Love Canal controversy in 1980.

Everyone had very interesting points, but there was a big gap with how Gibbs, Staley, and Shargawi viewed the matter from Wolf, especially when it came to journalism and documentaries. Shargawi, whose film deals with he and his friend's personal story in the Egyptian revolt, said change won't come unless you seduce people into doing it, and cinema is a way of doing that.

Wolf, on the other hand said that documentaries needs to become part of the news industry and distance itself from the film industry. She also took quite a lot of jabs at the Occupy movement, saying that since they weren't talking to the media, their message wasn't getting heard, and that's why they haven't really accomplished anything.

In addition to drawing some heated heckling from an audience member, it caused Gibbs to bring up a good point. Even though the Occupy movement isn't talking to anyone, they are still getting tons of press, which can only help. Wolf retaliated that their protest would accomplish more of they would appoint a spokesperson, and that government wouldn't be resorting to certain measures, like the British government threatening to use baton rounds on Occupy London.

Personally, I think the Occupy movement has its heart in the right place, but is completely aimless. And, to that end, I happen to agree with Wolf on the matter.

But that's a discussion for another day. Right now, I'm sitting pretty at lunch, and then it's off to the Holiday for a shorts program, and then… tonight …hitRECord!!! I'm shaking from anticipation… though that could just be from hunger. No way to know.

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