Review: ‘We Are Many’ adds little to the story behind the worldwide protests against the Iraq war


The documentary “We Are Many” looks at the Feb. 15, 2003, worldwide demonstrations against the impending Iraq war that drew an estimated 15 million protesters in about 800 cities. The logistics behind coordinating such an international spectacle would be fascinating; and this premise attracted so much interest on Kickstarter that the drive to help fund the film well exceeded its goal. But the completed work offers scant explanation of how to spread the word and mobilize citizens in the global village.

Reconstructing events through talking heads never makes for exciting documentaries. This is immediately evident here as founders of the London-based Stop the War Coalition state the obvious in the most perfunctory way possible. With little else to go on, the film looks to subsequent protests and rehashes at length the proposition that George W. Bush and Tony Blair misled the United States and Britain into war.

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The gratuitous parade of celebrity cameos boasts John le Carré, Damon Albarn, Mark Rylance, Brian Eno, Ken Loach and Richard Branson, though it’s unclear if all of them took to the streets.

Since the rally ultimately proved ineffectual, the film could at the least serve as a sobering postmortem on where it fell short. But filmmaker Amir Amirani instead gives protesters a figurative pat on the back by insinuating that they helped inspire the Egyptian revolution some eight years later.


“We Are Many.”

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills.