A conspiracy theorist’s delight, the macabre documentary We Are Many critically recounts the blunders of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in handling key events preceding the Iraq War but then tries to demonstrate the parallels between the social unrest of the 2000s and today’s protest climate. Iranian director/producer Amir Amirani would have been wise to choose one lane and stick to it.
Instead, he brazenly explores the lies, moral victories and stern defeats that defined this era of history, interviewing subjects from famous artists and average citizens to government and military personnel. All provide colorful commentary, but nothing substantial enough to prove Bush and Blair harbored ulterior motives for invading Iraq. The only supporting evidence comes from a U.S. Air Force veteran who details bombing missions in Iraq that took place long before Bush declared war.
Though Amirani falls short in building his conspiratorial thesis, he excels at illuminating the immensity of the anti-war protest on Feb. 15, 2003 that swept the world. The concerted mass gatherings remain the largest in history, encompassing 789 cities in 72 countries, with estimates of around 35 million people involved. He also loops in various organizations that helped orchestrate the protests and interviews an impressive number of the groups’ founding members.
He’s less successful, however, in showing the connection between those protests and ones in the years that would follow. Dwelling on the political process far more than necessary, Amirani scarcely touches on the Egyptian protests of 2011 that removed the objectionable President Honsi Mubarak, and this shallow approach makes the documentary feel like just another 9/11 conspiracy exposé.
Available to rent starting Sept. 25 via fineartstheatre.com