New Documentary: Necessary Reminder Of Gigantic Scandal

| Educate!

Above photo: Red in the face … anti-war activist Desiree Anita Ali-Fairooz confronting Condoleezza Rice in Amir Amirani’s documentary We Are Many. Photograph: Charles Dharapak/AP

This is a bold and important documentary about the immediate failure – but also the lasting legacy – of the 2003 Stop the War movement.

Here is the remarkable story of the global Stop the War march in 2003, composed of archive clips and contemporary interviews with the organisers and sympathisers, including Peter Oborne, John le Carré, Ken Loach and the late Tony Benn – and also a slightly conceited Richard Branson talking about his behind-the-scenes plans to persuade Saddam to stand down, which sounds like nothing so much as a Jeffrey Archer novel.

The same grim story is told: how after 9/11, Britain’s timid political masters and pro-war liberals were panicked into supporting America’s retaliatory war against Iraq, and brazened it out by helping to create the “weapons of mass destruction” untruth. It is such a gigantic scandal that we have, paradoxically, almost forgotten about it.

So this film does a necessary job. It’s a piece of history that must grapple with both the success of the Stop the War march and its manifest failure: a staggeringly huge demonstration of public opinion that nevertheless did not stop the war. But Amir Amirani makes a bold case for understanding the march in a larger context: that over the next decade it re-energised people power, sowed the seed for Egypt’s Arab spring and laid the foundations for Labour’s sober, courageous refusal to countenance the attack on Syria. Meanwhile, we wait for the Chilcot report. A very valuable film.

Here is the trailer:

The film recently qualified for an Academy Award. Click here for more information.

It will be shown at a variety of venues:

A documentary feature for Academy Award® consideration

Washington D.C.
November 4, 7:30 p.m.
Landmark E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW.
Q&A with director Amir Amirani
RSVP: 818.322.4675

New York
November 6, 7:30 p.m.
Dolby Theater, 1350 6th Ave., New York
Q&A with director Amir Amirani
RSVP: 818.287.8544

Los Angeles
November 9, 7:30 pm.
November 16, 7:30 p.m
Landmark Theatre, Westside Pavilion,
10850 Pico Blvd. Los Angeles
Both screenings followed by
Q&A with director Amir Amirani and reception
RSVP: 818.824.8011

Theatrical Release
New York, Dec. 4 – 10, IFC Center,323 6th Ave.
Los Angeles, Dec. 11 – 17, Laemmle Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Blvd
AMPAS members and guest admitted free with card
RSVP: 818.287.8544


  • jemcgloin

    I went to see this film last night. I was very impressed. Although the first global demonstration, with millions marching all over the world was not enough to keep GW Bush from invading Iraq, according to the organizers of the Egyptian Revolution it was the Feb 15th 2003 march that inspired their protests that led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, which in turn inspired M15 in Spain, Occupy all over the world, etc.
    The movie has some very powerful scenes and interviews with important players in the run up to war, including Hans Blix, and Colin Powell’s chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkenson, and many organizers of the protests.
    I was disappointed to not see Occupy directly referenced, or the Downing Street Memo mentioned (which had the head of MI5 telling Prime Minister Tony Blair that “intelligence was being fixed” by the Bush administration 9 months before the war) but every film has a focus and you can’t include everything.
    This film is both disturbing and hopeful, and very powerful.