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Documentary We Are Many shows how together we are stronger

We Are Many documentary posterIt was the largest mobilisation of people in human history. Millions and millions of protesters demonstrated together in 800 cities across the world, all for a single purpose: to stop the war in Iraq before it started. Now that a decade has passed since this global day of protest in February 2003, what kind of impact has this really had?

Screening at the Sheffield Doc/Fest is the documentary on the anti-war movement We Are Many. The film captures the mass protests leading up to the Iraq invasion and questions some key people behind the demonstrations, including the organisers, MPs, a UN weapons inspector, war veterans and even the likes of Richard Branson, Ken Loach and Danny Glover.

The documentary is directed by Amir Amirani, a London-based filmmaker of Iranian origin and a former BBC reporter. Starting just as the war rhetoric was picking up after 9/11, the film follows the build up to invasion day in chronological order, through to the escalation of the situation in Syria.

We are many and they are few

It is a beautifully produced documentary that pairs quotes with fitting images and uses music very well to evoke strong emotions. While the film is largely compiled of talking heads and tons of footage of protests, it never gets boring and the stories portrayed are striking and powerful.

The film builds a case of how people can make real changes by demonstrations and influence those in power. Starting with the protests against the Iraq war, it ties in the Arab spring demonstrations and ends on a high note as continuing action managed to avoid an invasion in Syria.

Though after watching the documentary, it is hard not to feel somewhat let down by the notion of democracy in general: The anti-Iraq protests were the largest global protests the world had ever seen, and still they did not accomplish their immediate goal. Using lies and circumstantial evidence to build a case for an illegal war, the invasion still took place.

Whether you see it as a failure of modern politics or the start of a new era of people taking power, the film documents the story extremely well. It is an important part of modern history that should not be brushed over. We Are Many does a brilliant job documenting this legacy so many participated in or felt strongly about and makes sure these crucial events will not be forgotten any time soon.

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Recently appointed as editor of the award winning student newspaper The River, Myriam is now in her final year of her journalism course at Kingston University. She is a real night-owl who can only get things done when there are minimal distractions. Her ambition is to settle for nothing but the best and she is aiming at a career in either documentary filmmaking or television production.

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