THE GREEN WAVE About The 2009 Iranian ElectionAugust 10, 2012

THE GREEN WAVE About The 2009 Iranian Election

Red Flag Releasing

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE GREEN WAVE (Red Flag Releasing).



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By Sky McCarthy


Living in the United States, it is easy to forget that not every nation enjoys the freedom of a fairly elected democratic government. Of course many stateside residents complain, but the electoral college and Super PACs are no comparison to the vast human rights infringements that occurred in the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Despite facing inherent difficulty in trying to tell a story from a country where the truth was suppressed by violence, director Ali Samadi Ahadi uses an array of surprising techniques in THE GREEN WAVE. The film unfolds as a chronological collage, documenting the youthful excitement preceding a corrupt election that was later mired by brutal suppression of anti-government activity.



In 2009, progressive presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi inspired a new generation of Iranian youth by challenging Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s authority. Mousavi supporters adopted the color green as a symbol of hope and change for a progressive future. While popular polls predicted a clear victory for Mousavi, it was soon announced that Ahmadinejad was the victor. Ballot confusion and ballot box stuffing were initially suspected but as evidence surfaced that local voting records had been systematically inflated by the thousands, anti-regime protests threw the country into a wave of internal turmoil that extended far beyond the significance of one election. Dozens were killed, including innocent children. Protest organizers were questioned and often tortured. Many of the dead bodies were taken by the government and improperly disposed, leaving countless families in unimaginable distress.

Even for those not well versed in modern Iranian political history, THE GREEN WAVE is a unique visual treat in its use of animation, home video recordings (many probably done on cell phones or pocket recorders), blog entries and interviews to weave a larger narrative. When presenting a subject where not much actual video footage is available, making a feature length documentary can prove a challenge. But Ahadi proves that with innovative production ideas, a thoughtfully crafted story can be told from a variety of sources.


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