JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Immortal | We Are Many (Directors: Tom Colley, Jon Dabach, Danny Issacs, Rob Margolies, Amir Amirani) - September 22, 2020
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Immortal | We Are Many

4.5 4.5

Fiction and documentary where various aspects of death are probed

Immortal
93 minutes, 2020
Tom Colley, Jon Dabach, Danny Issacs, Rob Margolies
Four and one-half stars

Till death don’t us part

What would happen if one writer (Dabach) would imagine a four-story feature that deals with the notion of the, perhaps utopian, notion of living forever? Then, ask three colleagues to direct one of the segments (saving, of course, a morsel for himself).

The result is a marvel of deadly (or not…) plot twists, snappy editing and cinematography (Dabach and Issacs stitching everything together while Colley captures it all with a welcome variety of angles) and a theme-enhancing score from Kieran Kiely.

Best of class is without doubt the poignant, heart-wrenching “discussion” about assisted suicide to relieve the torture of pain. Superlative performances from Robin Bartlett (as Mary) enduring the “torture” of prolonging a life that is absolute misery and Tony Todd playing Ted, her devoted, caring husband who lovingly offers a way out…

Miss it at your peril either here, or on the other side. JWR


We Are Many
114 minutes, 2014
Amir Amirani
Four stars

Falling on deaf, unrepentant ears

Just weeks away from the potential second coming of a systemic liar and cheat holding on to, arguably, the poorest presidency of all time, it is both instructive and demoralizing to view Amirani’s view of “the biggest demonstration in human history.

On February 15, 2003 an estimated 10- to 15-million people (virtually impossible to count, given the unprecedented “turnout”) in 79 countries and 789 cities (filmmaker’s stats) took to the streets. They had but one demand: no war with Iraq. Ironically, on February 14, 2003, a report was delivered to the UN confirming no evidence of any weapons of mass destruction.

On March 20, the war began and would be waged for nearly eight years—WMD or not.

Despite cries of “no war” from so many and lack of a solid reason (except a revenge fuck for the attacks on the World Trade Center: someone had to die!), Tony Blair and George W. Bush had no qualms about appointing themselves judge, jury and executioner. In some ways, their ill-advised, revenge-filled decisions (and some in the military chomping at the bit to see how their latest “toys” would work), make Donald Trump seem like a caring, kindhearted man.

John Le Carré (no stranger to the intrigues of espionage and suspect conclusions/collusions) was blunt that the need for this war was “the creation of a bunch of insiders…the intelligence was never there…It was the crime of the century.

Kofi Annan was also unequivocal: “Yes, it [the war] was illegal.”

Colin Powell was duped by his own “intelligence”. Who wouldn’t be nervous knowing that attacks from Iraq on the rest of the world could be launched in a mere 45 minutes?

The results: 460,000 “violent deaths of Iraqis”; undoubtedly many thousands of coalition deaths also occurred, but exact “counts” remain difficult to ascertain. The world is no safer than it was before; the, surviving, perpetrators of 9/11 largely unpunished/unknown.

The images (Amirani, Chris Morphet, interspersed with archival footage) have been skillfully woven together by editors Adelina Bichis and Martin Cooper. The truly horrific devastation and still festering rage by so many at the few who brought this travesty about, produces a sense of despair, more reinforced many years hence than at the time.

Indeed the metamorphosis from the Axis of Evil (David Frum) to the Asses of Evil (Harry Belafonte) is entirely apt. Just ask all who died on all sides of the mayhem.

Thank goodness, atrocities such as those, opposed by so many, can never happen again…er, Myanmar, North Korea, Syria, Yemen… JWR

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