The first film to take a critical look at the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising, Divided We Fall traces the genesis of the historic capitol occupation and weeks-long protests from the perspective of graduate teaching assistants at the center of the action and exposes tensions that challenged the movement’s solidarity.
Informative, complex, and inspiring… poignantly illustrates the challenges of doing democracy, of mobilizing for a just cause, and of coalition-building. Divided We Fall cogently resonates with what I’ve experienced and learned across my career as an activist-scholar. I hope this film is widely distributed and extensively viewed.
In the spring of 2011 Wisconsinites staged one of the largest sustained protests in US history. Tens of thousands of people from around Wisconsin converged on the capitol for almost two weeks to oppose newly elected Governor Scott Walker’s signature legislation to effectively end collective bargaining for public sector workers.
Divided We Fall explores the internal challenges of the rapidly developing and diverse social movement; where activists shared common goals, but often had conflicting ideas about how to achieve them. Weaving original in-depth interviews with dramatic citizen-produced video and photos, Divided We Fall creates a compelling narrative of the battle to resist an anti-labor and austerity agenda. Interviewees include graduate teaching assistants, labor leaders, scholars and pundits such as the late Marty Beil (executive director, AFSCME Council 24), Frank Emspak (Workers Independent News), Professor Katherine Cramer (author, The Politics of Resentment) and Matthew Rothschild, long-time editor of the Progressive magazine.
This important documentary is an inside look at what really happened in Wisconsin in 2011 and provides some of the best history available about these events… A powerful cinematic narrative filled with drama and finally, unfulfilled hope.
First-time filmmaker Katherine Acosta goes beyond the iconic images of the protests to ask organizers a simple question: What went wrong?
Weaving citizens’ videos with numerous interviews, the film offers new information, revealing what happened behind the scenes… This film will be studied by future historians.
Even if you read every article about the 2011 Wisconsin struggle, nothing comes close to seeing exactly how young people and workers rallied to the capitol to put their bodies on the line to oppose Scott Walker’s anti-labor assault.