Occupy Unmasked

Occupy Unmasked
Made in: USA
Language: English
Director: Stephen K. Bannon
Year: 2012

Synopsis: Before his death, Andrew Breitbart and his close friend, Stephen K. Bannon, set out to film an exposé on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

OWS quickly gained national attention by the US mainstream media in 2011, and was often hailed as a spontaneous, grassroots, and organic mass protest by ordinary citizens angry with the current state of the American economy.

Liberal talking heads such as Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC, Bill Maher, and far-left/progressive celebrities like Michael Moore and Tim Robbins, were quick to embrace the "99% vs 1%" narrative.

Congresswoman and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) also applauded OWS, and even President Barack Obama offered words of sympathy.

Stories of police brutality and unlawful tactics were trumpeted by news outlets, as if to create the impression that the cops were trying to bully a group of peaceful demonstrators.

Andrew Breitbart and Stephen K. Bannon portray OWS in a very different light, and directly challenge the claim that it was "spontaneous" and "grass roots." Looking right into the camera, Breitbart boldy asserts that the national movement was in fact organized by dangerous radicals and powerful union bosses.

He also documents instances of violence, property destruction, rape, and illegal drug use that went largely unreported by the mainstream press.

Breitbart goes on to claim that the forces behind OWS are bent on turning the US into a more socialistic system while hiding behind progressive buzzwords such as "community activism" and "social justice."

He also warns that those same forces are willing to resort to violence, class warfare, chaos, and sh*tting on police cars in order to achieve their goals...which do not include peace and tolerance.

Remarks: Slick, powerful, and fast paced, Occupy Unmasked is very clear in its intentions to deconstruct and expose the OWS Movement. Breitbart methodically makes his case for the audience, going through the history of the movement, and chronicling the common tactics that OWS and similar groups have employed.

Inter-cutting shots of screaming protestors, clashes with police, and windows being smashed (as was evidenced during Occupy Oakland), the film succeeds in portraying the OWS mob as chaotic and frightening.

Juxtaposing those images with Bill Maher's claim that "the protestors were largely well behaved," Breitbart and his crew make no bones about how they feel about those in the progressive media, and the responsibility they have in enabling the more destructive elements of OWS.

Who would like this film: Occupy Unmasked was obviously intended for a conservative/center-right audience. It's a scathing commentary on the mainstream media, which largely supported the movement, and shows a side to OWS that was largely underreported or even ignored.

Although it's true that many OWS participants were indeed peaceful and that there were some recorded incidents of police misconduct, the violent behavior of many protesters, often captured on amateur video, speak for themselves and offer pretty compelling evidence to support Breitbart's claims.

Occupy Unmasked offers a stark contrast to the portrayal of OWS as seen through the eyes of the elite media - it will no doubt infuriate progressives while drawing cheers from conservatives.

(3 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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