Taghi amirani holds up a yellowing typewritten document containing numerous very carefully cut holes it resembles a childrens celebration decoration. indeed, it is a free account associated with the occasions leading up to the 1953 ousting of irans democratically elected prime minister mohammad mosaddegh (arguably its first and just) in addition to patchiness associated with report is a great aesthetic metaphor for the official type of history, filled with holes even today. within the wonderfully persuasive documentary coup 53, amirani attempts to fill out the gaps.
It is not some dry bit of historic modification. amiranis enthusiasm is palpable right away and then he peppers their film with twists and reveals that would make john le carr smile. the united states had been behind the coup isn't any secret; that britain had been too is an open one, however never ever formally recognized.
In paris, amirani stumbles on transcripts of interviews for a mid-80s television programme covering britains record in iran, and at the british movie institute he locates the uncut reels of video footage. the cast of characters involved is a gift: mosaddegh loyalists lamenting their fall as if it had occurred yesterday; arch and distended uk diplomats looking straight back with wry amusement; victorious people in the us only too keen to take credit for disrupting democracy.
However the star of transcripts is undoubtedly norman darbyshire, an mi6 agent who could be the genuine designer of process ajax (named after the home solution). just one single issue: the darbyshire film is mysteriously lacking, the man glimpsed only in a single picture, blond and dashing but still elusive behind dark specs. whats a filmmaker to accomplish? here amirani brings off a coup of his own, attracting ralph fiennes, who provides darbyshires terms just as if auditioning for bond. with a knowing smirk right here and an arched eyebrow there, fiennes overall performance at first appears a tad hammy. yet can it be out of place? as coup 53 wears on, it becomes progressively clear your british and us citizens viewed iran merely as a chessboard on which to play their particular energy games. the award: controlling the oil offer and halting the march of communism.
Eventually, amirani fades from view due to the fact movie becomes a far more straightforward account of exactly what transpired following the regime modification, the shah installed before he also had been ousted in 1979s islamic revolution. the pain and outrage of amirani and his countrymen infuses the complete narrative so we visited know how the mosaddegh event set a damaging precedent for wider middle east which have repercussions right now. for iranians nevertheless denied democracy after very nearly 70 many years, the 1953 coup had been no mere game.
Online at coup53.com from august 19