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The Green Wave
Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi
| Producer: DreamJointVenturesGenre:
Documentary | Produced In: 2010
| Story Teller's Country:
Remember the protests and brutal violence which shook post-election Iran in the summer of 2009?
This is a documentary composed of real footage and animated scenes, with much of the film narrated by bloggers who experienced the protests.
Demonstrations began as a call for fair elections in which peaceful marchers identified themselves with the colour green. Then, as the director, Ali Samadi Ahadi
, says, ‘People were killed, arrested, tortured and raped just for asking the simple question: "Where is my vote?"’
We spoke to Ahadi about his film. Watch Iran’s Green Summer (2010)
Very soon it became clear that we had to find a special narrative style for this, because for the events behind us there existed only fragmentary poor-quality pictures taken with cell phones or images from archives covering the situation only in part. A reenactment was out of question for me, especially since it was clear to me that as long as the regime in Iran was in power I could no longer visit Iran.
Iran is a nation of bloggers. Thousands of young people write down their feelings, write down what is on their minds in their blogs. If it was no longer possible for me to shoot my film in Iran, to interview the people there, these blogs were exactly the right source to reach the inner voices of the people. For a long time Ali Soozandeh and I had been searching for an adequate visual language, when we came across the so-called motion comic to tell about these blogs. I chose 15 blogs from 1,500 websites which we then translated into images.
Some of the people you interview express anger and frustration at international indifference to the suffering of the Iranian people. Last week, the US announced sanctions on the head of the militia and the prosecutor general – do you think this could be the beginning of a change in international attitude?
I hope that very much. Human rights have played nearly no role in relations between Western Countries and Iran. [The West has] strong economic relations to Iran, the talk about the security of the region and about the nuclear issue but not about the human rights. How can that be possible? How can they be sure that a government that does not care about the security and needs of its own people do care about the security and needs of other nations? That is not possible. Therefore I believe that we have to link all talks with Iran to human rights questions.
Who do you hope to reach with this film, and how do you want to affect them?
I hope that people in western countries will understand better what took place in Iran after the elections in 2009 and ask themselves how they can help the people in the region. To understand that we need to help them seriously and effectively. And I hope that Iranians can also watch the film because I think this film is a reflection of what was going on in Iranian society and every society need reflections of movements within the county to be able to discuss it and to grow.
Do you believe that one day the Iranian leaders who authorized violence against protestors will be brought to justice?
Yes, very much. The history has shown us: There no dictatorship which could stay for ever. They have to go.
What's your perspective on the protests currently shaking the Arab world?
I am really excited to see how the whole near and middle east is searching for its voice and is fighting for its fundamental rights.
Do you think the protests in Iran are going to get stronger?
Of course! People in Iran had good reasons, why they went to vote and also to the streets. Unemployment, high inflation, lack of human rights, lack of prospects for young people, bad relations with the West...
Today not a single problem of the people is solved. Not only that, it became worse. Just because the government is using violence, that doesn´t mean that the problems are gone. People will ask again for their rights and needs. That government can't control the country without the people. -- Written by Rosalind Holmes Duffy
You can visit www.thegreenwave-film.com for more info and showtimes.
Ali Samadi Ahadi: An Interview
More about this movie
The desire for change was huge. "It helped me to regain my faith in humanity," one person recalls. Election Day itself was a deception on a massive scale: the supply of ballot papers would suddenly run out, and polling stations were closed for puzzling reasons.
This marked the beginning of the dark period in which Mousavi was put under house arrest; Ahmadinejad seized power and demonstrators were shot. The authorities crushed the huge protests that took place under the slogan "Where Is My Vote?", by murdering Neda, the most notorious victim.
We see these events onscreen as they were recorded with mobile phones and digital cameras. The blogs and tweets visualized using animation give an insider's view to the true extent of the suppression.
One student, for example, ended up in a dark cell with 200 wounded prisoners, some of whom had already died. And another student recalls the day she was released: "I left a small prison only to enter a much bigger one - a prison called Iran."
Roshanak Khodabakhsh .... associate producer
Jan Krüger .... producer
Oliver Stoltz .... producer
Production Co: Dreamer Joint Venture Filmproduction