Screening & Discussion: Revolution In Motion: Featuring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Fri, September 18, 2009 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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A film by Milad Dokhanchi. DVD, 70 min, 2009. (Director in Attendance)

Free and Open to the Public

Post-screening discussion with Neda Bolourchi (Columbia University) and Kamran Rastegar (Tufts University) moderated by Brian Drolet (Deep Dish TV)

"Is there anything about the west that you would admire?" This is the question that Milad Dokhanchi, a young Iranian-Canadian filmmaker poses to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Traveling all the way from Toronto, he follows the Iranian President in his famous provincial trips, his cabinet meetings and industry tours, and sits down with him in an exclusive one-on-one interview about the world of Ahmadinejad.

Revolution in Motion tells the story of one of world's most controversial leaders, a man vilified in the western press, the legitimacy of his presidency challenged by leading figures of the Islamic Republic in the wake of intensely disputed recent elections. Shot two months before Iran's June 2009 presindetianl elections, the film provides an important background and context for discussing today's Iran, its internal power struggle, and the real character of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

During Dokhanchi's extensive interview, Ahmadinejad describes what he considers the revolutionary path of the Islamic Republic and poses it sharply against the direction urged by reformers. He also challenges the value of discourse with the western powers that is conducted on their terms, arguing instead that countries wishing to free themselves from the humiliations of colonial domination must insist that the discourse be shaped to their own interests and necessities.

In addition to the Amadinejad interview, Dokhanchi's film gives voice to a wide range of Iranian opinion -- from the countryside to the cities -- about the President and life under the Islamic Republic.


Neda Bolourchi is currently a fellow at Columbia University's Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures. A lawyer, she continues to consult for various non-profits organizations and media outlets. Her current area of interest is the intersection of nationalism and religion as they relate to identity formation in post '79 Iran.

Milad Dokhanchi was born in the post-revolutionary Iran and immigrated to Canada in his early teenage years, an experience which he says :" led to creation of an identity constructed by two seemingly contradictory worlds." A self-taught filmmaker, Milad studied English literature and history at Carleton University in Ottawa-Canada. His commitment to redefining the Orient in the West while being non-apologist to the western liberal discourse, emerges as a new trend in the history of Canadian documentary film-making. While in Tehran in the days of highly disputed Iranian presidential elections, he appeared frequently on CTV Canada and Aljeezah English to offer his controversial account on the post-election turmoils. Revolution in Motion is his third documentary film. A film which he says:" is less about Ahmadinejad than it is an attempt to offer a realistic account of the socio-political situation of current Iran, something the so called 'Iran experts' in America have consciously decided not to understand."

Brian Drolet is the director of Deep Dish TV, a not-for-profit New York based television documentary producer that focuses on issues of international and domestic conflict. Mr. Drolet was also the founding editor of Banner Press, Chicago. As a book publisher, analyst and television producer he has over 40 years experience in media production.

Kamran Rastegar is a scholar of comparative literature who teaches at Tufts University. He researches topics relating to modern Persian and Arabic literatures, as well as contemporary literary and visual cultures of Iran and the Arab world. A book study, Literary Modernity Between Europe and the Middle East has been published Routledge (2007), and his translation of Mahmoud Dowlatabadi's Missing Soluch was published by Melville House Press (2007). Other recent article publications include "The Unintended Gift: The Adventures of Hajji Baba Ispahani as Transactional Text" in Middle Eastern Literatures, and "Literary Modernity Between Arabic and Persian Prose: Jurji Zaydan's Riwayat in Persian Translation," in Comparative Critical Studies. He has previously taught at Brown University and the University of Edinburgh.

3rd i NY & Alwan Collaborative Monthly Screening Series are made possible in part through support from The Fund for Creative Creative Communities administered through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Last updated: 2009-09-29 10:17:31

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