Coup 53

In Conversation

  • Walter Murch is the editor and cowriter of Coup 53.

  • Mark Danner, who writes regularly for the New York Review of Books and is the author of six books, has reported on wars and political violence around the world for three decades. He teaches at UC Berkeley and at Bard College.

The film’s editor is Walter Murch, who worked on The Conversation and The Godfather: Part II (both 1974) so there’s not much that he doesn’t know about conspiracy—how it leaks into a movie like the smell of drains.

Anthony Lane, New Yorker

Ten 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 Mossadegh and reinstalled 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 uncovered a wealth of secrets held for over sixty years in a trove of documents and film obtained from a 1985 British television documentary. 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 United States and United Kingdom 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.

Victoria Jaschob
  • Taghi Amirani
  • Walter Murch
  • Taghi Amirani
  • Chris Morphet
  • Claudia Raschke
  • English
  • Italian
  • Farsi
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W/Color
  • DCP
  • 119 mins
  • Amirani Media