On February 15th 2003 I was 10 years old. I took to the streets of London along with my mother, brother and sisters to march in opposition to the war on Iraq. I remember the vast ocean of people who stood together in solidarity. Strangers turned friends and were united for a common cause. I had no idea of the true scale and significance of that day until I watched this film.
We Are Many, directed by Amir Amirani, is the extraordinary account of the events leading up to and following the Iraq war. The film focuses on the protest movements surrounding it and the largest global protest in human history. The events are narrated by the interviews of a host of politicians, activists, academics and famous figures, including Richard Branson, Noam Chomsky, former Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State, Lawrence Wilkerson and the late Tony Benn. This is an extremely emotional, powerful and bittersweet experience, from beautiful scenes of human kindness and togetherness, to distressing scenes of suffering and destruction.
Despite the largest global protest in human history, most people went home and continued with their normal lives. The American and British governments, against the will of its citizens, invaded Iraq a few weeks later. This demoralizing loss that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings – many of whom were women and children – has stuck with a generation. What hope was there for democracy if the government wouldn’t listen to the very people it’s supposed to work for?
It is not all doom and gloom however, We Are Many highlights the many movements that stemmed from the Iraq war protests. It highlights the great progress made by ordinary people like you and me coming together and organizing on a sustained level to stand up against injustice and the too often nonsensical ideologies of politicians. It reveals the truth about the source of the Egyptian revolution and the impact of the Iraq war on the decision surrounding the recent call for military action in Syria.
Doubtless, it is one of the best documentaries of the century, a true beacon of hope in the fight for justice around the world.