SAVAGE CINEMA: When We Fought & How We Lost

If you read only one review of Divided We Fall, please read Scott Collins over at Savage Cinema.  It’s long – but well worth the time.   Collins gets, in a profound way, what we were trying to do with our film.

5 Questions Interview with Lake Front Row

Every year David Klein of asks directors of films in the “Wisconsin’s Own” section of the Wisconsin Film Fest 5 questions about work.  Read our interview with Klein here.

Support for Wisconsin Teachers

Rob Thomas: ‘Divided We Fall’ is a case study of the Act 10 protests

My interview with Rob Thomas of the Capital Times:


Talking with activist leaders who were there, “Divided We Fall” takes the audience inside the war rooms and strategy sessions of the Act 10 protests. Those interviewed include the late Marty Beil, longtime leader of AFSCME Council 24, and Matt Rothschild, former editor of The Progressive magazine.

What emerges is a fundamental schism within the ranks of the protesters once it became clear that the initial wave of protesting wasn’t going to move Walker and GOP legislators…

Read more.

Jamala Rogers: “Divided We Fall Every Time”

This year’s UW Madison activist-in-resident, author of Ferguson is America, and Black Commentator columnist Jamala Rogers considers our film and the Wisconsin Uprising in historical perspective in her essay “Divided We Fall Every Time.”


Dubbed the “largest sustained protest in US history” filmmaker Acosta accessed compelling archival footage from inside the inside of the organic resistance. This helped to give viewers a front row seat into the strategizing and organizing actions going on at the Capitol during the two weeks of resistance. At its height, up to 100,000 people from across different backgrounds and affiliations united to make their voices heard. I can remember following the actions from St. Louis and rooting on the protestors including the 14 Democratic Senators in the Senate who left the state as a tactic to stall the vote on Act 10.

Read more.

Access to Democracy Denied - Wisconsin protests at the capitol

Louis Proyect’s Review of Divided We Fall

“Even if you’ve read every article about the Wisconsin struggle as it was unfolding in 2011, nothing comes close to seeing exactly how young people and workers rallied to the capitol building to put their bodies on the line to oppose Scott Walker’s anti-labor assault…”

Louis Proyect reviews Divided We Fall on his blog The Unrepentant Marxist.

One clarification:  Proyect writes that “Acosta directed her film crew throughout the occupation…”  In fact, we never had a crew or funding for that!  Most of the action footage in the film comes from the Wisconsin Uprising Archive, a community archive of media created by Uprising participants.  The film wouldn’t be as exciting as it is without that source and we think it’s really cool that most of the footage in the film was produced by activists.

movie - drumline at Wisconsin protest

Historian Paul Buhle’s review of Divided We Fall in Portside

America is about to be Wisconsinized…”

Historian and author Paul Buhle (It Started in Wisconsin) links the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising and subsequent forcible implementation of Governor Scott Walker’s radical Republican agenda to our current national nightmare in his review of Divided We Fall at  America, Buhle says, is about to be “Wisconsinized.”

For more of Paul Buhle, check out the anthology of essays, It Started in Wisconsin, that he edited together with his wife Mary Jo. Several essays in the volume are by people featured in our movie, such as labor organizer Charity Schmidt, former editor of The Progressive Magazine and current executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Matt Rothschild, and CEO of Workers Independent News Frank Emspak.


Interview for the Driftless Film Festival

Driftless Film Festival interview with director Katherine Acosta


It was by luck that I met Michael Billeaux, a TAA activist and former co-president of that union, who was centrally involved in the capitol occupation.  He connected me with other TAA activists and I began to realize that the more interesting story was the dynamics of the Uprising itself.

The TAs were also the ones most willing to offer a critical analysis in interviews.  As scholar-activists centrally involved in the capitol occupation, they are ideally positioned to give an analytical account of what happened.  So I decided to tell the story primarily from their perspectives.  I should say that it also helped that they were all sociologists and that is my training as well.  We were able to have some great conversations because we spoke the same language.

Read the whole interview here.

Ruth Conniff on Divided We Fall & the “Next Step” for Progressives

In an election year that stirred hopes with the unlikely and nearly successful grassroots Bernie Sanders campaign, and then headed downhill into the reality TV show that is the 2016 general election, Katherine Acosta’s hard look at the way progressive activists influence (and fail to influence) electoral politics has deep resonance…

Read the full article in The Isthmus.

Read my thoughts on Ruth’s thoughts here.

Wisconsin state capitol protesters


Esty Dinur’s review of Divided We Fall in the Isthmus:

As its title suggests, Divided We Fall is not another nostalgia film about the Wisconsin Uprising. Like other movies about the popular response to Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10, it has footage of Wisconsinites marching, drumming and sleeping in the Capitol. But it doesn’t stop there. This documentary by first-time director Katherine Acosta, who has a sociology Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, looks deeply into the mechanisms of the uprising and why it fizzled and, ultimately, failed. Weaving citizens’ videos with numerous interviews, the film offers new information, revealing what happened behind the scenes.

Read more…