Germany/Iran, 2010, 80 min
Spring and summer of 2009 were a heady time for the youth of Iran. The candidacy of comeback reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi promised a blossoming of democracy and freedom not seen during the regimes of the Shah or the Islamic Republic. Green scarves and banners emerged, symbolizing the opening up of life and activism. Then, when the people realized that the outcome—projected so clearly in favor of Mousavi—was manipulated to give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory, their fury led to massive street demonstrations. These in turn provoked a brutal government crackdown in the form of beatings, torture and murder. As the regime silenced conventional media outlets like newspapers and state-run TV, new ones took their place. With The Green Wave, filmmaker Ali Samadi Ahadi has created a moving documentary collage that adroitly captures this 21st-century model for a new-media people’s movement. A variety of real-time Facebook reports, tweets and videos posted on the Internet were integrated into the film composition, and hundreds of actual blog entries served as background reference for the experiences and thoughts of two young students whose story anchors the narrative. Vivid animation appears alongside authentic, often disturbing from-the-street photographs of the movement and on-camera interviews to drive the moving account of a youth revolt against one of the most repressive regimes in the world. It's a captivating amalgam of election meetings, demonstrations and unrest, and ultimately attacks by the militia, perfectly capturing a revolution in flux, yet evergreen with hope.
In Farsi with subtitles. Presented in association with Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley. GGA Documentary Feature Contender.