Film: Coup 53

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  Sunday, March 29, 2020
  4:30 p.m.
  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Nine years in the making, Iranian director Taghi Amirani’s feature film debut is a fascinating investigation into the 1953 Anglo-American coup d’état in Iran that displaced democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as shah, turning Iran into a despotic monarchy. Tracing the coup from the events leading up to it through its aftermath, Amirani and editor and cowriter Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather) uncover a wealth of secrets held for over sixty years and discovered in a trove of documents and film obtained from the BBC. Assembling never-before-seen archival footage, animation, and interviews with witnesses on both sides of the conflict, Coup 53 presents a chilling exposé of one of the first covert actions by the US and UK to overthrow a sitting government in order to protect “national interests,” at the expense of what could have been the largest democracy in the Middle East.

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley
340 Stephens Hall, Berkeley, CA  94720-2314
510.642.8208
cmes@berkeley.edu

 

 
 

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