Coup 53, Dir Taghi Amirani, UK-Iran-USA 2019, 118min. With partial English subtitles
August 1953 is a date Iranians remember well. ‘Operation Ajax’, a coup orchestrated by British and American intelligence services, marked the end of a democratically elected government, reinstated the Shah and most crucially ended Mossadegh’s most significant policy: the nationalisation of Iranian oil. What began as an interrogation into the mystery that still surrounds the affair, develops into a taut thriller, exposing rigorous secrecy and underlining the ongoing ramifications of this pivotal political episode. They say the truth is wilder than fiction and this film reveals aspects of an actual incident that were determinedly buried. Working with legendary editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient), Amirani’s compelling documentary ensures that this is one history lesson that you won’t forget.