New Internationalist

I Know I’m Not Alone

September 2006

On receiving Michael Franti’s documentary I Know I’m Not Alone, my first thoughts were that here was yet another well-meaning musician who wanted to teach the world to sing. I managed to maintain that attitude for about 10 minutes. The film takes a little while to warm up but once in full flow any thoughts of musical megalomania are dispelled.

Franti, best known for his stunning political music in the band Spearhead, travels to Iraq and Israel to discover the impacts that military occupations have on ordinary people. The voices of those people is sometimes lost in the music-video style editing, yet frequent glimpses of stunning truths do come through. I Know I’m Not Alone is at its best when it goes beyond the immediate horrors of the conditions people live in and seeks out the deeper feelings behind hatred and suspicion. The strongest episode is towards the end at the Green Line in Gaza, when teenage Israeli soldiers and Palestinian farmers talk openly and intimately to one another about their fears and hopes. In the context of the American media, Franti’s film is a breath of fresh air, particularly with the footage from Iraq where everyone from taxi drivers to a heavy metal band airs their views. Not always with the same political message, Franti gives space to many perspectives, weaving in his own humble message that he’s not on the side of Iraqis, or Americans, or Palestinians or Israelis – he’s on the side of the peacemakers. Oh yeah, and his music is pretty good too.

Heidi Bachram

This column was published in the September 2006 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on I Know I'm Not Alone

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

I Know I'm Not Alone Fact File
Product information directed by Michael Franti (DVD)
Star rating4
Product link www.iknowimnotalone.com

Get our free fortnightly eNews

Multimedia

Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Film

All Film

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 393

New Internationalist Magazine issue 393
Issue 393

More articles from this issue

  • Shehab Uddin

    September 1, 2006

    The dignity of a poet resident at a senior citizen shelter in Kathmandu, Nepal, captured by Shehab Uddin.

  • Captive: how the ad industry pins us down

    September 1, 2006

    Dinyar Godrej sniffs at the bait being dangled by the ad biz.

  • Jesus is a brand of jeans

    September 1, 2006

    What is advertising? Jean Kilbourne on the gigantic propaganda effort and how it affects the way we think and feel.

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe