Fragments of a Revolution
Distributed by Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by Mille et Une Films, Virginie Guibbaud & Gilles Padovani
DVD, color, 57 min.
Jr. High - General Adult
Iran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Middle East, Political Science, Politics, Human Rights, Activism, Social Movement, Green Movement, Imam Khomeini, 1979 Iranian Revolution, Comparative Government, and Repressive Government
Reviewed by Malcolm L. Rigsby, Department of Sociology and Human Services, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Date Entered: 6/4/2012
In the midst of thousands of similar stories, the director takes us on a journey to meet several anonymous people. People who like most of us desire freedom and the ability to express identity and belonging. These people are young Iranians living in Iran and displaced and exiled Iranians who are living around the world. They seek their homeland and better lives free from the oppression that came out of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. These young people’s parents sought a hope for a better life free of the oppression of a westernized dictatorship under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. The hopes of a better life pursuant to the ideals of the Imam Khomeini soon were dashed as a different kind of oppression emerged to engulf the next generation of Iranians.
The film takes us to the summer of 2009 and the events leading up to the Green Movement and the months that followed that summer’s tragic outcomes for so many. We see the events unfold through the eyes and words of a few exiled and local Iranians as they trade YouTube videos, Skype calls, and emails. The tears and feelings emerge from the film and attach to us as we become part of this very secret and intimate process. We come to know their fear of being caught, arrested, tortured and potentially becoming one of the many “disappeared.” We sit in the bedroom of a Paris apartment, or in the home of a frustrated young woman in Teheran, or struggle for cover as shots ring out in the streets amidst screams and calls for help. In this, we share the protest movement.
As the government takes firm control, we understand what it is to be fragmented. Fragmented as a people exiled in the world and as a people exiled in their own land. Fragmented as a revolution that is struck down by the power of the state, by rooftop snipers and authorities that run down people in the street. Like hopes that are like ashes of a fire, there lies for a while at least, embers that only need a bit of fuel, a bit of breeze in order to ignite afresh.
This film does not appear to have had a large budget, but it is well edited and shot. The photography is good. Professional photography is mixed with cell phone and electronic device video. Sound is very good, even street scenes are very easily understood. This film is recent and very informative. At the same time it is intimate and will keep your attention. Because virtually all collective behavior and action, especially revolution, is very unique, this film is bound to be relevant for years to come.
For a preview, please watch the YouTube clip.
- 2011 Best Documentary, Miradas Doc, Tenerfife
- 2011 Louis Marcorelles Prize and Special Mention Young Jury Prize, Cinema Du Reel Festival, Paris