We Are the Thousand (2020) [Feature]

Italy (MIFF 2021 )
Director: Anita Rivaroli

How do you get the world’s biggest rock band to play in your hometown? Become the world’s biggest rock band.

Marine biologist Fabio Zaffagnini loves rock music – especially the Foo Fighters. In 2015, he devised a plan to lure them to his small hometown of Cesena: he’d recruit a thousand fellow rock fans from around Italy, teach them to play Learn to Fly in sync, record the song live in a field, then upload their performance to YouTube. Forty-five million views later, Zaffagnini had Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl’s attention. But for the Rockin’ 1000, this was only the start.

Some documentaries are simply joyful – and, after a year that forced us all to approximate togetherness online, there’s something absolutely heartwarming about Anita Rivaroli’s celebration of the shared power of live music, which won an Audience Award at this year’s SXSW. Because it chronicles every step of the Rockin’ 1000’s journey and what it meant to that group of ardent music lovers, the film transcends fan entitlement to become a paean to pure enthusiasm.

“A good-humoured, slyly moving testament to the power of music. If you haven’t got a smile on your face by the end, are you even breathing?” – Flickering Myth


The Music on Film strand is presented by Triple R

Select Festival

Search the film archive