Streaming: Coup 53
December 18, 2020–July 18, 2021
Passionate and fearless.Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
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.