Greg Barker and his new documentary, WE ARE THE GIANT, which offers up a few of the folk who were (and still are -- some of them, at least) actively involved in the ongoing protest collectively known as Arab Spring. After all, what looked like, at last, a wonderful explosion of the possibility of "democracy" in the Arab world, involving some 20 countries, beginning with Tunisia and spreading through-out, turns out to be either the further rise of putrid fundamentalism or rather an even stronger dictatorship, pushing citizens under its thumb ever more fiercely. Showing us Mao's revolution and then Chinese students protesting that revolution with no intervening commentary is perhaps not the most intelligent of choices.
Che Guevara together with a rapid montage of various "popular" revolutions throughout history, though whether these involve Mao, Lenin, Jefferson or Castro, or whether these helped or hindered the people, does not seem to matter much to Mr. Barker (shown at left). It's the idea of a popular revolution that counts. But, then, when the documentary lets us know that its subject is the would-be "popular revolutions" in the Arab world -- after what has happened there over the past few years -- one's hope further declines.
Music Box Films, running 92 minutes and in both Arabic and English -- opens tomorrow, Friday, December 12 in New York City (at the Cinema Village) and in Los Angeles (at Laemmle's Music Hall 3).