Saturday, 9 March 2013

A Simple Question

 Is the War on Terror worth the cost?

American Autumn is a documentary about the Occupy Movement and the political situation that made the occupation of public space an absolute necessity. It can be bought here under a pay what you can/want model.

The film was financed by kickstarter and I was one of its backers. After completion Dennis made it freely available for awhile on his youtube channel. However it appears Dennis is trying to raise funds for his webshow and other projects so has switched over to this method. I'm an ardent believer in the freedom of information but its important to fund alternative research and journalism. So on the whole I find this to be an acceptable compromise. It is available and can be gotten cheaply, what really annoys me is that most documentaries after being first broadcast go back on the shelf in some media archive never to see the light of day again. Most of the time if it wasn't for a foresighted viewer recording the show and then sharing it the information they contain would only be disseminated across a fraction of the audience.

But is America's Autumn worth any amount of money? I think so, though of course being one of the guys who put money up for its completion I'd look like a fool if I said otherwise. Its a well made documentary with a lot of interesting visuals. You can see an example of the graphics it uses to illustrate its points appoint the rottenness of America's political system. It also has footage and interviews from many of the Occupy encampments across America getting a representative sample of the people involved and what mattered most to them.

As we all know by now the camps have all been broken up by the police, but the movement itself, specifically the groups that affiliated or grew out of it haven't gone away. They are still active offering support to the desperete and challenging the banks and the governments agencies that support them.

For example one area that alot of Occupy activists are strongly involved in is resistance to the foreclosure crisis that threatens thousands with the prospect of homelessness. So far they haven't successfully stopped these evil policies but they have kept dozens of families in their homes. Some would call them small victories, I'd say those who say that have never faced the prospect of losing their home because their ain't nothing small about that. But regardless the fact that the movement still exists and is having some impact, makes it worth studying in my opinion and documentaries like American Autumn help raise are understanding.

In Detroit, Michigan, the city many consider the epicenter of the nation's subprime loan and foreclosure crisis, banks continue to evict residents from their homes at an alarming pace. Wayne County has the second highest foreclosure rate in the state, according to RealtyTrac. But citizens are fighting back. Over the past year a growing grassroots movement has used community action to block evictions and keep families in their homes. Now, some of those helped by the movement are taking the reins of its leadership. FSRN's Jaisal Noor has more from Detroit.

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