Sunday, 2 October 2011

film review: the green wave

Using a vivid collage of animations, interviews and source footage, The Green Wave explores the pro-Mousavi protests that followed Ahmadinejad’s ‘victory’ in Iran’s 2009 presidential elections. The animated sequences stylishly visualise blog entries from a variety of first-hand witnesses (with a sequence set in Evin prison particularly evocative), while the talking heads are appropriately authoritative, ranging from UN prosecutors to Nobel peace prize winners. But as an act of awareness-raising intervention, director Ali Samadi Ahadi falters by taking too much for granted, offering neither background to Mousavi’s popularity, nor suggestions as to why Ahmadinejad’s downfall is so passionately sought — obvious to some, but worth reiterating. Offsetting any gaps in its historical record is the breadth of testimony. Significantly, the most widely-reported victim of the brutal clampdown, Neda Agha-Soltan, is not given elevated importance (as she was in contemporaneous international coverage); she is but one victim amongst many, her tragic story a single strand in a thick weave of suffering.

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