UK, Iran, USA, 2019
119 minutes, Color and Black & White
Summer 1953 saw the overthrow of Iranian prime minister Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh and the installation of the dreaded Shah. Oil was the game, and although the United States took credit for the coup, Britain never officially acknowledged its role. Taghi Amirani and editor/co-writer Walter Murch reveal new evidence from various sources, including the transcript of a mysteriously excised tape in a BBC interview show. Norman Darbyshire, MI6's head of Iran station, was "the perfect spy." If the real British and American intelligence agents in the old BBC footage seem out of central casting, Ralph Feinnes, sitting in for Darbyshire, gives the master class and spills the beans. It took American cash, British ruthlessness, and the wisdom of the rent-a-mob to finally oust the good doctor and change the course of Mideast history. A decade in the making, this film that celebrates the thrill of truth-finding is most welcome today.—Judy Bloch
In English, French, Italian, and Farsi with English subtitles
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