We Are the Thousand

Not really a fan of Foo Fighters there was no real impetus to see this film. But having watched it I have a new appreciation for the band and how cool they seem to be – especially lead singer Dave Grohl. There are not many bands who would have participated in this. Travelled all the way to Italy from the United States to play with a large group of unknown musicians. All this comes about because of one man’s dream and incredible drive. It captured the attention of millions around the world.

The documentary, at its heart, is about the universal language that is music, a dream and the creation of the largest rock band to ever have played together. A man in Italy named Fabio is the origin of all this. Oddly, Fabio is a marine biologist, not a rock musician. But it is his passion for rock music which led to him dreaming up an idea so seemingly crazy that almost all would have dismissed it outright. Fabio, however, did not give up on his idea.

With passion and an unwillingness to give up, Fabio managed to get 1,000 musicians and singers to gather together in the small Italian town of Cesena with the goal of not only learning to play the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly” but doing it all together. Yup, 1,000 musicians would play “Learn to Fly” together without it sounding like utter chaos.

It does not end there. Not only would the 1,000 play together, but the video of it would be uploaded to YouTube and it would include a plea by Fabio for the Foo Fighters to come to Cesena to play the song with them. Somehow, the large group was assembled and they played and sang a decent version of the song.

The incredible story does not end there. On YouTube, the video earned an incredible 50 million views! With all those eyes on it, the video got Fabio on the news to tell his story and it got brought to Dave Grohl’s attention. The veteran rocker is so taken by it that he agrees to come to Italy to play.

The doc has crowd pleaser written all over it. Not only has it been watched and loved by film fans in a variety of different festivals, but it also won an Audience Award at SXSW. All who watch it begin to think about those dreams of their own they previously dismissed as impossible. If Fabio could pull off this then maybe so could theirs. I am sure many were inspired after having seen the film. Also, the emotional journey you go on during the watching of the film is extremely gratifying. A fun high is attained.

Music is something people from around the globe can connect about. No matter where you live, what sex you are, how much money you make or what your politics are. Music, as illustrated here, unifies in a way little else does.