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A fair amount of the second act of The Dark Knight Rises has a class warfare plotline. This is foreshadowed in the trailers with Selina Kyle's "there's a storm coming" monologue. Some of the verbiage and themes of this portion of the film seem to mirror the Occupy Movement, and I wanted to know if this was on purpose.

Did the writers of The Dark Knight Rises purposefully model this plotline on the Occupy Movement, or were they pulling from some other source?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

In an interview with Rolling Stone, director Christopher Nolan insists his film is apolitical:

In the new movie, you have Bane more or less trick Gotham's 99 percent into rising up against the rich – is that intended as an anti-Occupy Wall Street statement?

I've had as many conversations with people who have seen the film the other way round. We throw a lot of things against the wall to see if it sticks. We put a lot of interesting questions in the air, but that's simply a backdrop for the story. What we're really trying to do is show the cracks of society, show the conflicts that somebody would try to wedge open. We're going to get wildly different interpretations of what the film is supporting and not supporting, but it's not doing any of those things. It's just telling a story. If you're saying, “Have you made a film that's supposed to be criticizing the Occupy Wall Street movement?” – well, obviously, that's not true.

But the movie certainly suggests that there's a great danger of populist movements being pushed too far.

If the populist movement is manipulated by somebody who is evil, that surely is a criticism of the evil person. You could also say the conditions the evil person is exploiting are problematic and should be addressed.

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I have been doing a bit of reading on this subject, and most of the reports articles I have read indicate that the script was in development well before the events of 'Occupy Wall Street' - that said, there are several parallels, and there is one article at theweek.com which sums up the opposing views quite nicely.

To wit:

Nolan casts Bane as the leader of a "ragtag movement with a propensity for violence" against the wealthy, evoking Occupy Wall Street. "Bane's henchmen literally attack Wall Street, savagely beat the rich, and promise the good people of Gotham that 'tomorrow, you claim what is rightfully yours.'" The movie is a damning indictment of the anti-corporate movement and the threat of social chaos it poses.

or

But Nolan sympathizes with Occupy Wall Street: While director (and co-screenwriter) Nolan claims that his movie is "above partisanship," Rises clearly has a "down-with-the-system undercurrent."

or

Over the three films, Batman has "oscillated between seemingly opposite poles" — "savior and destroyer, human and beast, the ultimate radical individualist and people's protector." The distinctions between his two sides have "grown progressively messier," and it's impossible to force his character into a black-and-white, liberal v. conservative framework.

I guess you can take your pick - however, it is worth remembering that many thought The Dark Knight sided with Bush's methodology when dealing with terrorists...

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Also the "Occupy Movement" isn't anything new - that kind of thing has happened many times around the world. –  DisgruntledGoat Aug 6 '12 at 11:21

No. While Nolan makes no secret that current events (especially those that stoke our fears, such as the global financial crisis) influence the tone and themes of his films, the writing and filming of TDKR was nearly complete by fall, 2011 - just before the Occupy movement began making major headlines.

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I thought it was a very modern outlook on the French revolution, Cranes court, to storming of the prison, power to the people. It seems very similar to storming of the Bastille: beheading the nobility, the sham courts of justice, ruthless bloodshed, and the addition of the word citizen to the people of France.

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