Review: We Are Many

Celebrating a global wave of morality


Everyone remembers where they were when the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, but for 30 million people around the world February 15 2003 remains just as significant. That was the day the biggest peace protest in modern history took place and if you weren't one of the 1.5 million marching across London with an anti-Iraq war banner, you'll wish you had been after seeing Amir Amirani's documentary.

To have not stood shoulder to shoulder with the founders of the UK's Stop The War coalition seems churlish and unpatriotic retrospectively as the facts retold over 105 minutes are so damning of organ grinder George W. Bush and former PM Tony Blair who danced to his duplicitous tune. If We Are Many was a fictional thriller, you'd admire the gall of the Western leaders who hoodwinked their own governments and security forces into believing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But of course the Bush/Blair con was real and resulted in the deaths of an alleged 500,000 Iraqis, though the statistics that appear as the credits roll suggest it could have been many more.

It is horrifying and especially so when you see murdered Iraqi children juxtaposed with footage of Bush in black tie telling jokes at the White House. Not even Emperor Nero was that crass. Tough though it is to put war crimes aside as the Chilcot Inquiry unsuccessfully proved, Amir's thoughtfully paced and informative film is also a celebration of the logistics required to stage a global protest on a single day and those involved, among them Damon Albarn, Tony Benn, John le Carré and Noam Chomsky recount the experience emotively.

Whatever your allegiance, I challenge you not to be moved by the sight of citizens from Australia to New York performing what was a global Mexican wave of morality. With a show of anti-war feeling on such a scale, one would've expected better results. And if We Are Many was fiction, Hollywood would have insisted on it.

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