Coup 53

Film - Documentary | October 12 | 12 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 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.

 CA, afox@berkeley.edu, 5106420365