‘The Occupiers’: John Forrester’s film documents Occupy Boston rise and fall
From the first tent that went up in Dewey Square in late September to the last one dismantled by Boston police several months later, John Forrester captured the Occupy Boston movement on film.
On March 1, Forrester will debut “The Occupiers,” a documentary tracing the emergence of the group through the perspective of the occupation’s activists.
“There hasn’t been a lot of activism in our generation. We are known as this apathetic generation,” said Forrester. “We thought it was interesting that people were stepping up to do something in a major kind of way.”
Forrester said it was curiosity that initially brought him and film co-creator Joseph Leahy to one of the first Occupy meetings, and from there the cameras started to roll.
The film was part of a graduate school project at Emerson College that Forrester started with his classmate.
Forrester said the duo spent many nights at the camp once it was constructed, embedding themselves in the marches, protests and “direct action” around Boston.
“We tried to … retain distance from the movement and report on it fairly and objectively, and I think we succeeded,” he said.
The film steers clear of advancing any political views occupiers may have had, but follows the daily tasks of several of its key members, highlighting life inside Dewey Square.
Focusing on the creation of the Occupy community and the challenges they faced both inside camp as well as in court, Forrester filmed the hurdles occupiers were forced to deal with as a group.
“It’s a bit of history. It’s a portrait at its core,” said Forrester. “It’s not a definitive historical record, but it’s what went on from the perspectives of [the occupiers].”
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