Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Green Wave

MPAA (Not Rated) Fr. Dennis (4 Stars)

IMDb listing -
Official Website -

The Green Wave (directed by Ali Samadi Ahadi and co-written again by Ali Samadi Ahadi as well as Oliver Stoltz) is a well produced film about the nationwide protest movement born in Iran during the 2009 election.  The movie is one of the selections currently playing at Chicago’s 9th Annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival being held at Facet’s Multimedia in Chicago.

Having witnessed the revolutions of the Arab Spring this year in Tunisia and Egypt as well as continued protests and conflicts in Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen, the Green Protests in Iran in 2009 may seem like ancient history to us today.  Yet, it was the young people in Iran who first converted social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube into platforms for organizing their opposition, “Green” movement, which were used so extensively in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere throughout the Middle East to do the same this year.

The Green Wave weaves interviews with opposition figures including Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi and Shadi Sadr as well as younger leaders, often in exile, including Mitra Khalatbari, Payam Akhavan, Navid Akhavan and Pegah Ferydoni with poignant animations of testimonies posted by Iranian young people on blogs and twitter feeds during the height of the protests and subsequent crackdown in which far more people were killed on the streets, and subsequently arrested, tortured and killed in prison than most people outside of Iran are aware. 

There is the reason for why the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran did not succeed, the people were terrorized back into submission. 

Still the cracks in the regime appear to be there.  In a particularly poignant testimony, a member of Iran’s religious police confessed to having blood on his hands, having participated in the beating deaths of three young boys during the crackdown on the protests.  Disturbed, he along with others in his squad asked their mullah chaplain what they should do to get forgiveness.  The mullah chaplain assured them that they killed only infidels who had it coming to them.  Yet, this member of the religious police confessed that since the killings he’s stopped praying convinced that he had done wrong and that Allah knew ... Similar stories trickled out of Argentina during and after its “Dirty War” with the Communists in the 1970s (LA Times, Mar 8, 1995).  Good, fundamentally honest even patriotic people can’t be convinced to kill the innocent forever to keep a regime in power.  And the next Presidential elections in Iran are only 2 years away in 2013 ...

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