A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Many dedicated people around the world are trying to solve difficult social problems. "It's better to live in freedom… than to be oppressed." "True artists are healers."
Positive Role Models
The featured activists are working to raise awareness about such ills as domestic violence, feeding the poor, racism, and misogyny.
Violence & Scariness
Prejudice against various groups is discussed. Police shooting is mentioned, as well as a motorcycle accident. Domestic violence against women is described as usual in Brazil. A video of a man beating his wife in an elevator there is shown. We learn he later threw her off a building, then retrieved the body and cleaned the blood off the elevator walls. A woman describes being beaten for hours by her husband because she didn't make him lunch, while her mother-in-law stood by watching. A Muslim woman from Sudan plays back a video she took of an American man in Arizona spewing hate at her for being a Muslim. She describes seeing family members hurt in Sudan, "blood pouring out of somebody."
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"F--k" is seen on graffiti. "S--t," "screw," "bitch," and "crap." "Hell" is heard in song lyrics.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that We Are One is a French documentary (with English subtitles) focusing on several international activists, each trying to raise awareness about social problems in their own ways. The director puts them in a music video to help publicize their work and introduces them to fundraisers in support of their issues. The social ills highlighted include the plight of battered women in Brazil, homeless refugees in Paris, a marginalized albino community in Mali, climate change, genocide in Sudan, and racism and sexism in the United States and France. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "screw," "bitch," and "crap." "Hell" is heard in song lyrics. Domestic violence is described and shown. A Muslim woman from Sudan plays back a video she took of an American man in Arizona spewing hate at her for being a Muslim. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an ambitious, big-hearted but disjointed attempt to help, but it never decides what it is about. French director Stephane de Freitas is filled with good intentions as he turns the spotlight on a number of pressing issues affecting populations around the world. He's great at finding inspiring people to represent those issues, and his efforts to promote their causes seem genuine.
But We Are One falters as he tries to do too much. Initially, he structures the movie as a countdown to a music video that will feature "Solidarite" by the musical group Lamomali, but that is shot halfway through, leaving us puzzled as to what the rest of the movie will be about. De Freitas brings all of his far-flung activists to Paris for meetings with fundraisers and facilitators, so you really can't knock him for making this effort to make the world a better place. All the more reason to wish that We Are One was a better, more watchable movie instead of the muddled, good-hearted mess that it is.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.