Iran, Veiled Appearances

This 2002 prodemocracy documentary shows how Islamic clerics in Iran used their power to stifle popular calls for freedom of expression. Director Thierry Michel stacks the deck, opening with the funeral of a poet killed by fundamentalists and contrasting the rhythmic chest pounding of Shiites with a dance workshop where students are told “Free yourselves.” Footage of the leader of a student uprising recanting under duress on TV is affecting, but neither side of the struggle is explained with any clarity. The fundamentalists' position in particular is left opaque in a way that devalues their beliefs and denies them any validity. In Farsi with subtitles. 88 min.

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