We Are the Giant (2014 Sundance capsule)Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute Movies Reviews Sundance
The clarion call of a grander moral calling anchors the documentary We Are the Giant, and in large part saves it from its own overstuffed passion. Profiling a handful of activists involved in Arab Spring uprisings in Libya, Syria and Bahrain, the film mixes unsettling firsthand protest footage with involving stories of self-sacrifice.
Director Greg Barker (the Emmy-winning Manhunt) overdoes things a bit with composer Philip Sheppard’s brawny score and a slick technical package that, paradoxically, provides little in the way of relevant current sociopolitical grounding but lots of distracting quotations from historical figures and other textual interludes. Still, the captured scenes of brutality by these despotic regimes, including police beatings and army shellings, have a grim, stirring currency. And the subjects here, including Bahraini sisters Maryam and Zainab al-Khawaja, dedicated adherents to Gandhi’s principals of nonviolent resistance, are deeply inspiring figures thanks to their strong convictions and desire to better their respective homelands. We Are the Giant is another prima facie document in the unfolding foreign drama of our time—one that could entirely refashion international relations.
Director: Greg Barker
Production Details: Passion Pictures/Motto Pictures, 90 minutes