Coup 53

Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Resist Revolt Reform
Running Time:119 min.
Director:Taghi Amirani
Producer:Paul Zaentz
Screenwriter:Taghi Amirani
Walter Murch
Cinematographer:Chris Morphet
Claudia Raschke
Taghi Amirani
Editor:Walter Murch
Cast:Taghi Amirani
Walter Murch
Print Source:Taghi Amirani
Note Writer:Victoria Jaschob


Ten years in the making, Iranian director Taghi Amirani's feature debut film 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 co-writer Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather) uncover a wealth of secrets held for over 60 years discovered in a trove of documents and film obtained from the British Film Institute (BFI). 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.

EXPECTED GUESTS: Editor-Writer Walter Murch, Director-Writer Taghi Amirani, Producer Paul Zaentz, Co-Producers Amir Amirani and Ahmad Kiarostami

Additional Information

Taghi Amirani made his first film, Shades of Black (1984), a documentary short, while studying physics at Nottingham University. He trained in film in a graduate studies program at the University of Bristol, completing a short, Mechanics of Love (1986). Amirani began a long career directing documentary TV series with a 1989 episode of Equinox. He traveled to Iran to make Red Lines and Deadlines (2005), a documentary about a reformist newspaper in Iran. He also executive produced We Are Many (2014), a documentary about the Feb. 15, 2003 demonstration against the war in Iraq.