The Uprising

Filmmaker Q&A with Director Nicol Ragland

What motivated you to make this film?

Initially, documenting a tribe of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania and learning the deeper questions through activists on the ground in Arusha that the issue was more about the evolution of the indigenous within the modern world. This, coupled with the reading of a book entitled ‘blessed unrest’ addressing how the largest global social movement was behaving as an immune response to economic breakdown, environmental destruction and the marginalization of the indigenous, ‘the uprising’ was created to reveal the occupy movement as more than what mainstream media was portraying. It is an attempt to reveal its nature as an evolutionary process to reform and recover from the unsustainable systems that are currently affecting our world, both national and global.


Can you describe any obstacles you encountered in making your film and/or in your distribution/exhibition efforts?

This was my first short, subsequently I wasn’t working with the intention of distribution. It was the beginning of what is now the larger multi-media project, ‘indigene’. Distribution and exhibition efforts are just beginning.


What do you want audiences to take away from your film?

  • The question of what a finish line of the occupy movement would look like.
  • A perspective that invites the idea of something larger at work vs. The ‘us against them’ mentality.
  • The inquiry into ‘what democracy looks like’ without a small minority in control. • How we create the capacity for change
  • The perspective that very basic values are being re-instilled worldwide and are fostering complex social webs of meaning that may represent the future of governance


Please list key points that should be covered in a post-screening discussion:

The points around a bottom up movement erupting and behaving similar to an immune system response. IF we can accept the metaphor of an organism being applied to humankind, we can imagine a collective movement that would protect, repair, and restore that organism’s capacity to endure when threatened with ecological degradation and political corruption.


What opportunities are available for those interested in getting further involved?

Specific involvement with the occupy movement can be learned at Inspiration and collective, bottom up movements can be learned at


Where would you like to see your film screened?

  • College curriculum in discussion on global issues
  • Additional short film festivals
  • International arenas in conversation on global uprisings



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