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Occupy Sandy (2012)

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"Occupy Sandy," which debuted at a surprise outdoor screening above a gas station in Lower Manhattan on Nov. 28, documents the Occupy movement's volunteer efforts to assist the most hard-hit New Yorkers in the wake of last month's storm.

[Part 2 is a trailer and video about the guerilla premier]

Filmmaker Josh Fox ("Gasland") told The Huffington Post he found himself "completely blown away by what they're doing" and believes Occupy Sandy is an "incredible gift to this city right now." Fox said, "What's happening right now is you see people leading from the bottom-up. Truly, leadership coming from within the community."

Steve Jambeck, whose house in the Rockaway Peninsula of Queens was inundated by four feet of water in the storm, was impressed by volunteer response to Sandy. He watched community members come together and spoke with some of his neighbors for the first time in years. "It was an uplifting experience in a lot of ways, even in the midst of such destruction and devastation," he said.

Jambeck's wife, Joan Flynn, added, "The response of Occupy Sandy and other volunteers has far surpassed anything that the government has done."

Along with the volunteer relief effort, the film draws attention to the climate change message wrought by Sandy's devastation.

"A large part of figuring this out is dealing with the politics of it;" Fox said, "dealing with climate change and dealing with the fact that we've got populations in harm's way and business as usual with the fossil fuel industry."

The film features author and climate activist Bill McKibben, who offers his sympathy to "every girl named Sandy in the New York metropolitan area," and suggests the storm ought to have been named "Hurricane Exxon." McKibben tells the camera, "Time to name them for the people who are causing them."

Following Sandy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) asserted, "I think part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality, extreme weather is a reality, it is a reality that we are vulnerable."

Although it is difficult to attribute a single weather event to climate change, scientists have warned that current atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations already commit the planet to warming, which will bring a "new normal" of destructive weather events, as hinted at by superstorm Sandy.

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21