Pete Postlethwaite, Bill Nighy and Julie Walters, make some of their earliest performances on film in the story of a four-year struggle to set up a worker’s cooperative at a Fisher-Bendix factory in Kirkby. Gael Dohany’s polemical and formally radical documentary recounts the passage of industrial dispute through a mixture of interviews, news reports and scenes from a play about the occupation performed by the Liverpool Everyman Theatre.
Also intercut are ‘eye-witness’ reports from similar events in Turin in 1919 and Detroit in 1936. With the use of such fictionalised interviews and its intercutting of material, the film has stylistic echoes of the work of Peter Watkins and Jean-Luc Godard, but rather than making broader political commentary Dohany is focused on the intrigue of this localised struggle.
Occupy! was funded by the BFI Production Board during a brief period of mid-1970s political radicalism when the Board also funded films by London Women's Film Group, Cinema Action and the Berwick Street Collective.