MISTER "Z": Meeting Costa Gavras For "Une Journée à Tehran"


MISTER "Z": Meeting Costa Gavras For "Une Journée à Tehran"
by Darius Kadivar

Last Sunday I had the Privilege to meet one of my favorite film directors of the 1970's, Greek Costa Gavras (who is currently the Head of the Paris Cinématèque Française) during an event "Une Journée à Tehran" celebrating Iranian Diaspora Cinema. I still have goosebumps ;0)

More Photos of the Event Here 

SFU Hellenic Studies interviews Costa Gavras:

Trailer of "Z":

Costa Gavras on his Oscar Winning film "Z" talks to WNYC's Leonard Lopate about making the film:


Climatic Scene from Costa Gavras - Z with Mikis Theodorakis Music Score (1969):

The Honest Judge (Jean Louis Trintignant) Investigates the Generals and Officers who took part in the Coup in Greece:

Opening Scene of "L'Aveu" aka "The Confession" Starring Yves Montand based on the Political Purge in Czechoslovakia:

The Trial Scene in The Confession:

State of Siege Starring Yves Montand based on CIA Interventions in South American Coups Vs Revolutionary movements of the 70's:

Bus Recruitements in State of Siege:


Amen- On the Vatican Silence during the Nazi Holocaust's Final Solution:

Costa Gavras on the Cannes Film Festival:

Costa Gavras on Film Restoration undertook by the Cinématèque Française:

Parthenon by Costa-Gavras:

Recommended Reading:

Prisoner of Conscience: Akbar Ganji and Costa Gavras' Confession BY Darius KADIVAR

Recommended Watching:

CINEMA BLUES: Motion Pictures Don't Do It For Me Anymore ...

Related Blogs:

RESTORATION: Greek Constitutional Monarchy Toppled by Military Coup (April 21st, 1967)

TITANS MEET: Shahbanou of Iran Greets Ex-King Constantine of Greece (Roudaki-Opera House, 1971)

EMPIRE OF THE MIND: The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization narrated by Liam Neeson (PBS-1999)



more from Darius Kadivar
Darius Kadivar

Chilean police clash with anti-Pinochet demonstrators

by Darius Kadivar on

Clashes at anti-Pinochet protest (bbc)


Police in Chile use tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the screening of a documentary praising Gen Augusto Pinochet.

Farah Rusta

The "Left" and "JM" need the Pahlavi era.

by Farah Rusta on

This is their  "raison d'etre" . To them, the Pahlavi era must be presented as a dictatorship otherwise they can't sell their commodity.


Darius Kadivar

Ashena Jaan I look at You as a filthy leftist ? ! ? ...

by Darius Kadivar on

At Worst as a Pain in the Back of my Neck Perhaps ... ;0)

But a Filthy Person be it Left or Right .? ... NEVER !

I just happen to Know my Place:

Joking aside, I think we simply misunderstood eachother and if it's my fault, please accept my humble excuses.

It just happens that I have to put up with too many ANONYMOUS Comments and humor or Irony is the best way I have to deal with people on this site.

I don't judge people based on their personal political beliefs, if people would have the courage of their convictions ( and I am not particularly thinking of you when I write these words) I guess I could take them more seriously and be more patient.

It just happened that I took the time to respond in length to your arguments and the least I would expect from an ANONYMOUS Contributor/Commentator is to read them.

If I thought what you said was Stupid or Irrelevent or unimportant I would not even have bothered to respond so "Noisily" ...

If people don't have the time to read or respond it is their problem but the words short or long are here for anyone to come back and read them or ignore them in their own capacity.

This is how I write and have been contributing here for years with a full identity and accountability for my opinions. No one is forced to share them nor have I imposed my opinions on anyone. I simply express them in my own creative way at best.

Anyways, Got to go  and Hope this makes it clear.

Again, No Hard Feelings,





OK DK jaan, it's only the Iranian way

by آشنا on

I would like to thank you for having this debate with me. It was productive and enlightening to certain point. Then you began to get irritated and eventually frustrated and angry. That was not my intention. I see this kind of "political" clashes over and over in this site but I don't want to insult people or be insulted like it happens everyday here. I have no political platform or idol to promote and I am not looking for building certain name or reputation. Unfortunately we Iranians (including myself) have this emotional reactions when we are confronted by other ideas. Then we act as a Shiite martyr and at the end

قهر می کنیم 

I did not have the slightest intention to use the word "noise" as a pejorative one. actually I was thinking about the Sa'di's line:

کم گوی و گزیده گوی چون در

Say less but pick your sayings as you select pearls and the reason to think about that line is that I did care about what you were saying and I wanted to get into all sources you provided. But that was impossible because of the huge number of them.  

I know you are a royalist but I don't look at you or prototype you as so. On the other hand your words tell me that you look at me as a filthy leftist. So be it, that only shows your inner setting and your way of thinking about others.

So long and good by. 

Darius Kadivar

آشنا Jaan Not Really ...

Darius Kadivar

But probably after years of experiencing debate on the IC with fellow ANONYMOUS compatriots with BOLD opinions stretching across the Iranian political spectrum, I know or rather sense when a debate is leading to some interesting exchange and when it is not getting anywhere ...


If it suits you to think I am inflicted with remnant dictatorial tendancies ... So Be it ... that is fine with me ...


I on the otherhand simply think that the Left is No More entitled to LECTURE others on grounds of some Moral Superiority merely because it pretends to side with the oppressed ...


I've had similar debates with another blogger Brian Appelton, and I think that we see things too differently to ever be able to agree on anything. Nothing wrong with that, just that I don't want to spend my energy preaching for my parish when the other couldn't care less for what I am saying ...

No Hard Feelings,




I am not fighting with you dear Darius, are you?

by آشنا on

I have no attention to change your opinion neither than having” Le Monopole Du Coeur

Nobody is here to satisfy anybody else’s feelings about how to name or give titles to EX- this or that. As long as we are not impolite we can name people they way we like. But it seems there is a zest of old regime in your mind to DICTATE people to do thing only the way that pleases you.

I said from the beginning that I did not want to turn this cultural blog to a political one. However you have a chest full of unexpressed matters and you asked for it. But, vous ne pouvez pas sauter dans la piscine et ne pas être mouillée” [You cannot jump in to the swimming pool and not get wet]

Nobody forced us to come here and express our opinion so there is no reason to get angry and bitter about it. I am not fighting with you I am debating and if you have better thing to do be my guest, it’s a free “country” after all.



more 'noise' please dk

by humanbeing on

sounding like a broken record. but as one of your many regular readers, who i am sure will concur with me, we learn immensely from your wonderful blogs, and love your style (even when we sometimes differ in opinions). the rich blogs sire fascinating threads with healthy debates and lots of learning. just look at the xerxes one recently.

not everyone has to visit every blog, there are plenty of lo-cal lo-stimulant blogs around here if one is not in the mood for a richly textured (aka 'noisy') one, that's what's so great about cyberspace.

as you would say (with proper accents): a chacun son gout.

Darius Kadivar

آشنا Jaan Thank you for Your Patronizing Response

Darius Kadivar

Your arguments haven't convinced me the slightest to change my Opinion for that matter ... Particularly on the Left Wing Intelligenstia's responsability in the Devolution of '79

As for The "Madame" Pahlavi Belittiling is Typical of all Ex Left Wing Revolutionaries. Was she or Was she Not Queen ?

So Why "FARAH" or Farah Pahlavi ? I hear this all the time From the BBC PErsian Journalists and It Truly Hits a Nerve each time I hear it.

Even an Ex President Like Khatami or Bill Clinton Remains President when adressed even after leaving office or even when impeached as has been the case for Nixon.

Anyways as I said I will leave the Readers to draw their conclusions as to My "Noise" as you put it  ...

I suppose You are entitled to YOUR Opinion, I am entitled to Mine ...

But as One French Rght Wing President told another Future Left Wing French President in their first Presidential debate duel back in 1974:

"Vous N'Avez Pas Le Monopole Du Coeur Monsieur ..." :


As for the Movie Buffs Curiosity, if there is any left in you ...

I recommend the following Post Revolution Films influenced by the "Gavras" Style:

MON CINEMA: Khosro Sinai's "VIVA !" (1979)

MON CINEMA: Mohsen Makhmalbaf's "Boykot" aka "Boycott" (1985)

Both directors are both now either dissidents to the IRI or in exile ... 

Sorry But I have better things to do than waste Your Precious Time and Mine with my Irrelevant and uninteresting "Noise".







Dear DK

by آشنا on

First an advice: in documentation techniques there are two main notions; the laws of "Silence and Noise". When there is no or very small number of documents about a subject and you are left with almost nothing to refer to they call it "Silence" but on the opposite when there are  too many documents to the extent of not being able to find the closest ones to the subject you are lost. That is called "Noise". Your blogs have the problem of Noise but you think by providing lots of references you can convince your interlocutor. Wrong!

Milani wanted an interview with Madam Pahlavi. She did not accept it based on his leftist past. But he wanted her testimony to add to tens of others to do the research about Shah. So Milani was complaining by saying that his time was (right or wrong) dominated by leftist ideology. Even Sartre in that time was selling a band leftist newspaper "La cause du people" in pairs to express his suport for left and he got arrested.


 I referred to that to tell you about my time, the dominant ideology of the time and our effort in anyway we could to counter a system which was going more and more toward a totalitarian regime by establishing a one party state. We were the children of our time as Milani as a teacher and Sartre as an eminent world philosopher. All that might not mean much to you but that is my testimony about my generation.

We can sit here and talk forever about the tone of that "gray" color without getting anywhere. For me it was darker than you think getting closer and closer to black. for you it was almost white. So, yes, let's rest the case by now.  


Darius Kadivar

شنا Jaan I think you are the one who is displaying a Manichean

Darius Kadivar

view which as a matter of fact has been lasting for 30 years ...

But at the sake of repeating myself I will reiterate what I wrote and which you don't seem to have noticed:

I personally believe the Truth on the Shah's era is something in between Your Interpretation and mine. I don't believe in Black and White or Good Vs Bad. The Truth is Often Grey ...

As for Sartre ...

HISTORY OF IDEAS: Jean Paul Sartre on Freedom and Existentialism (BBC)

I don't quite understand where you are trying to get as to the fact that he was arrested in Paris for selling Leftist Newspapers in the 70's then jumping to on the subject of Milani for not getting an interview with Farah for his book on the Shah ...

Do you mean to say that France was a dictatorship and did not allow Left Wing Intellectuals to express themselves ?

As for Milani not being able to get an Interview appointment with Farah what does that prove ? Do you know how many authors have slandered her husband's reputation to date after she accepted to give them personal insights ? William Shawcross was one of them.


The Shah's Last Ride Touchstone ed, 1989

(See PS Note Below)


As such I Fully understand why she doesn't want to be betrayed in her confidence and protect her husband's memory.

Milani whom I personally appreciate both as a writer and historian dedicated a whole chapter/article to the Shah's Alledged Homosexuality. That is why I guess Farah has refused to speak to him and not because of his past or present political views.

I find that honerable on her part to try and defend her husband's dignity.

It didn't stop her to accept to make a movie with a former Die Hard Communist after all :

The Queen and I - Trailer :


A movie Which personally I did not like because precisely it was Manichean but was happy that it was made nevertheless be it for the director's urge to give her version of the story and share her personal anecdotes and opinions respectable in their own right. I merely did not share her analysis on some aspects of what she deemed being the Regime's mistakes or the Shah or Farah's personalities. In short I would have made a different movie. But then I haven't ... so I guess I might as well shut up ;0) 

But who knows maybe One day I will ? ... ;0))


As for the rest of your comments ... well ... I rest my case.

I don't think I need to elaborate. The Readers will draw their own conclusions.

Thank you for your interest,


PS: On William Shawcross:

Speaking of REVISIONISM I would like to note that In his latest book on UK's Queen Mum ( See Photo of Queen Mum and Shahbanou) which I read Shawcross writes alot of BS in a Chapter on her Visit to Iran, claiming that Iranians prefered the Queen Mum to their Own Royal Family because she was closer to them and respected them unlike the Iranian Monarchs in their Public appearances. Knowing How State Visits are Organized and that they are anything But Spontaneous to begin with I find it ironic that Shawcross find that it is enough for him to draw such outrageous conclusions based on such thin evidence (Typical British Smart Ass aimed at writing a Soft Propaganda Book to Enhance the prestige of the British Royalty as opposed to the so-called "decadent" Oriental Despots). This is all the more Remarkable that he draws such conclusions only based on the testimony of British Ambassadors and Diplomats to describe the Official Visit and not on a single interview of an Iranian witness or diplomat to sustain his baseless comments. Comparing Farah to some kind of Marie Antoinette. Another Typical Stiff Upper Lipped Generalization common to nearly all the Western Historians I have read to date when speaking about our Royals ( often without ever having even met them in person be it for more accuracy) as if there was not enough evidence to prove the contrary : 

Empress Farah visits victims of devastating Tabas earthquake in eastern Iran in 1978 

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE:Shah and Shahbanou Visit Earthquake Victimes (VIDEO)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shahbanou Farah visits Persian Gulf Compatriots (1974)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shahbanou Farah and School girls (1970's)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah Greeted by "Bandari" People of Persian Gulf (1970's)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE:Farah chatting with a local lady in Gilan Province (1970's)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shah visits Nursery in Tabriz (1960's)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah Pays Respect to Baloutch Sunni Minority (1970's)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shah meets Kurdish Representatives (1948)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah Comforts Tabas Earthquake Victimes (1978)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah visits compatriots inflicted with leprosy (1970's)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah Helps Clean Village Sewage System (1970's)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah visits village wives and children (1970's) 

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah Greeted affectionately by girls in Luristan Province (1975)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Farah and Quashgai Kids (1976)

ROYALTY AND THE PEOPLE: Shah and Soraya Share meal with worksman's family (1956)  





Bad trailer

by آشنا on

The trailer I put in my last comment is a bad one I was looking for the 1947 film but I could not find it. You are the expert let us know




Some points to clarify

by آشنا on

Dear Darius,

You wrote a huge comment touching numerous subjects that needs to be examined one by one. First of all this shows your passion for imperial system to the extent that actually, sorry to say, indicates your Manichean view about the whole situation.  

I just go briefly in to some of those points:

- I don't remember those "festival movies" being broadcast on TV. As a fact TV Chanels could not have enough time and space to do so.

-Shajarian in his last interview on BBC mentioned that he was neglected but they brought him to Shiraz festival only as a showcase of traditional music.

- It is not the question of the number of educated people in Iran, Morocco or Tunisia that we are talking about but the percentage. Therefore the growth of population is irrelevant. But I agree that the old regime did some good in that regard e.i universities...etc.   

- You accepted the dictatorial nature of Pahlavi and I appreciate that. Some years ago I have accepted my own failures and my guilt of having a Utopian view in that time. But look, putting it in simple words I should say if you see me wearing a t-shirt in summer you cannot criticize me because six months ago I was wearing a thick coat in winter !! Each time has its own needs and necessities. Milani (I am not a fan) said once that Ms. Pahlavi did not accept an interview with him simply because once he was a leftist, and he continued by saying that in 70s Sartre was selling leftist newspaper in Paris and he got arrested. Actually, if you like to see the  philosophical matter of "human condition" in different times read "Les jeux sont faits" by Sartre. (Sorry I could not find the whole book although it existed online)



[The chips are down]


- For Golesorkhi and his friends the question do not go to the matter of a right or wrong ideology. Maybe they were wrong in their ideology but they were right to seek the freedom of speech etc. In any case they did not deserve to die. By the way the whole accusation of trying to kill Shah's son was a lie. In addition, do you believe that people should be obedient to the king just to breath and stay alive ? Did the king give them their lives to have the right to take it? You wrote:"At times that makes me wonder cynically what if the likes of Golesorkhi had actually survived ? Would they have been any different from the revolutionary judges who sent many of our best generals and ministers to the execution squads? Sorry Darius, we cannot judge and condemn people on the bases of our own imagination, belief and hypothesis for something that actually  never happened. On the other hand the example that they wanted to set by executing them was counterproductive. See the result !! 

- Basically your idea of the degree of dictatorship during Pahlavi regime looks like this: A(Pahlavi time was bad but not that bad) B(Islamic regime) is extremely worst. But for me ,bad A changing to worst B does not justify A. I am looking for C. Turning back to A is the definition of REVISIONISM.

- Just the last point, I did not compare Chile with Iran, I compared your response to Kissinger's who was justifying atrocities in Chile done by the US. 


Farah Rusta

And as for the sound track in Z

by Farah Rusta on

I forgot to say that I bought a cassette of the Z soundtrack  in Tehran in 1972/3 for it was on public sale. No ban at all.


Darius Kadivar

FYI/Kandoo (based on Takhti) & Yaran ( With "Z" Music Score)

by Darius Kadivar on

Some Pre Revolution Movies of the time are featured in my blogs below. Some quite commercial and aiming a specific target audience: The Youth. Others particularly with Vossoughi targets an Older audience and the rising Middle Class in particular.

Yet all films are tainted with a strong feeling of Social malaise and frustrations which were to erupt a few years later with the Revolution. 


Nostalgia: trailer of Booye Gandom 1978 movie


Nostalgia: trailer of YARAN movie

Notice the copyright infrigment ( No copy right laws existed in those days in Iran) with the use of the music score of Mikis Theodorakis in Costa Gavras' "Z".  

KANDOO: ( Vossoughi's character is inspired by Gholam Reza Takhti - the Wrestler accused at the time of having been assassinated by the SAVAK on orders of the Shah, which was never proven)

MON CINEMA: "Kandoo" Starring Behrouz Vossoughi, Ebi, Davoud Rashidi (1975)

The Trailer with Ebi Singing is clearly politically subversive opening with Vossoughi walking aimlessly out of the Parliament building in Tehran and moving towards the poor southern corners of the Capital including the Prostitutes area followed by the images of the film and closing with Vossoughi's face bloodied after a fight in the Bar which then cuts on a close up and Zoom on the Pahlavi Crown ...


Nostalgia: Vossoughi in film Saazesh

Critical of the Political Corruption and Social Hypocrisy in a Money Driven and materialistic society in the aftermath of the Rastakhiz Party Formation.

Farah Rusta

We were moving towards democracy but alas ...

by Farah Rusta on

 I cannot concur with some of the comments made here (re: ashena). Back in the late seventies (post-Rastakhiz) there were many examples of what you would classify by those days standards as provocative films and plays that were shown not only in the cinemas but also on the national TV. A good example which surprised many of the politically conscious students of that era was Zinneman's Behold the Pale Horse (1964) which was aired uncensored on the State owned TV network (courtesy of Mr Qotbi):  


 The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Taxi Driver (1976) were both stories of assasination attempts on the life of a political leader, neither of them were censored or blocked by the authorities. I am sure there are many other examples that I cannot remember right now but the system was fairly relaxed and was moving towards further openness.

On the home front, there were more provocative examples: Apart from Gaav, there was Gavaznha:  


and the most popular Shahr-gesseh


Not to forget the politically charged serial (made by Parviz Sayyad) called Okhtapus of which no sample is left.


These are hardly examples of a totalitarian regime controlling the media. As Darius says, Iran under the Pahlavis (and Pahlavi II in particular) was a mild (I would go even further and say a shambolic) autocracy in which there was no central or air-tight control over cenrsorhip. The books by Gholam Hossein Sa'edi were not only published (and later clumsily stopped) but some of his plays were staged too. The case of Dayereh Mina was different as it contained some blatant falsehoods.



Nice blog & clips DK

by oktaby on

Some more great movies may come out of Greece after the current tumult. The bank incident when 3 were killed may make a great story of an inflection point. 



healthy debate

by humanbeing on

thanks ashena for bringing up your points and dk for addressing them. the role of intellectuals is tricky in current affairs these days.

the recent application of charisma and talent of some brave cultural figures as a platform for standing for what is right has been covered here a bit more, to give just three examples shajarian, sedighi, and panahi.

as for intellectuals, some are ensconced in their ivory towers and don't know what the hell is going on, only to air some demagogical fashionable dicta here and there of a lukewarm nature which do not endanger their bid for professorship or whatever -- and this is in the free democratic world; others are influenced by charismatic peers and spend all of their time organizing boycotts, and passively perpetuating incitement and ostracism, such that they don't have time to learn the topic for themselves; there is a broad spectrum of damage that can be done from well-meaning naive damage to manipulative opportunistic sinister damage.

i think many public intellectual and cultural figures do not realize the power and influence they hold these days over the general educated pubic who do not always have time to research and study the facts/figures or their contexts and narratives/circumstances of how things unfold. slogans and catchwords, at times misinterpreted, are sometimes all that is retained.

this merits a discussion of its own and is not just related to iran; i believe one figure alluded to above was seyyed hossein nasr (was i mistaken?)-- i don't understand exactly the role he played in the pahlavi era, and then after 79 -- there are of course others, then and now, about iran and about other arenas. there are responsible intellectuals about whom we've heard much on site, but would like to hear more about less visible figures. 

this is of course important for non-iranians as well, who really rely a lot on the tableaux of the situation as they are filtered through these intellectual and cultural figures.

a final point, yes, the state of literacy and intellectual and scientific achievement of iranians in the diaspora and also in iran is stellar at the moment, and the credit must be attributed to a long-term promotion.

i would give an analogy from my own country, which has many nobel prizes recently (relative to population), as well as high tech and other prestigious achievements: people rest on their laurels saying it means the situation is good; especially the government says this, in order not to agree to spend more or promote more (two different things, the second not less important); they are bogged down by military expenses and payouts to ultra religious. however, today's achievements are the result of half a century of promoting education and culture which really started to unravel i think in '82, and cannot be used as a fig-leaf for what is happening now, it does not in any way reflect the deterioration now going on in my country, which will become glaring and unavoidably obvious only in ten/fifteen years. in the meantime the current rewards give excuse for neglect.

more film directors and other cultural and intellectual figures with a conscience, representing a variety of views, and creative ways out of the current deadlock would be very salutary all around

Darius Kadivar

آشنا Jaan On the contrary I welcome Debate ;0)

Darius Kadivar

I do not see how comments on a blog on Costa Gavras the quintessential "engagé" Political filmmaker of the 60's and 70's can be otherwise ... ;0)

All the more that I think that Your Generation's testimonies are  valuable and I think it is important to hear them all the more that you seem to be older than me and therefore your perspective is always enlightening in order to re assess one's opinions on a given era.

I may not be able however to debate back and fro for a long time but I welcome others who wish to do so if they have time on their hands or are interested in this discussion.

That Said please allow me to respond to your points :

First let me answer to your following ones 2) & 3):

2) I am aware of the deemed corruption or Favoritism that existed in Iran under the Shah's rule. I am not certain that it was deliberate all the time. MY own father won the right to be invited to the ceremonies at Persepolis in a Goreh Keshy organized at Pahlavi Universtity back in 1971 and a certain Dr. Nasr simply cheated and took advantage of his position in the University Hierarchy to shamelessly give himself the ticket and deprive my father from what was his by right since he had won in the first place. This gentleman later became a staunch Revolutionary of the First Hour ...

Like in all systems those who are often more royalist than the King or Queen are the Greatest enemies of the establishment they staunchly but badly served. And their wrong doings and actions often led to bad mouthing the Monarch who did not personally endorse such behaviors. But an efficient Public Relations Policy was probably one of the weakest characteristics of the Shah's regime which greatly contributed to damaging his reputation and that of the Royal Family in the public eye.

But I disagree with your assessment on the lack of importance of these Jashnvareh's as being reserved to a limited few. Those who could not have the tickets or physically be present at the event could nevertheless have access to them Via Television by definition a Mass Media Product. As Such Iran's efforts in cultural emancipation but also helping traditional Persian Arts were commendable and respectful of Iranian Artists and Art forms :

Jaleh Kazemi interview of Parissa:


Marzieh ( Future MKO Passionaria) Singing on RangaRang:


Parissa singing Chahargah in Shiraz :


Persian classical dastgah Shur by Lloyd Miller on oud, NIRTV:


No need for me to mention Shajarian who earned his fame to the International Arts Festival in Shiraz only to become the Voice of the "People's" Revolution in the immediate aftermath of the revolution.

Now maybe you may want to argue Not everyone had a Television at the time ... Sorry But 30 years on I believe I deserve a more solid and objective argument for a change than the common Revolutionary Rhetoric (whether you share it or not). On one hand we refuse to be compared to Morroco or Tunisia on the otherhand we complain that 50  % of the population was illiterate under the Shah But boast about how much under the Islamic Republic Iran's population has reached high educational standards. Someone should remind them that the population in Iran has doubled in 30 years and that the infrastructure of universtities, schools etc were founded from the Rubble by the Pahlavis and Not the IRI which simply built upon that INITIAL Heritage without ever genuine building anything themselves ... 

Sorry but I think this type of reaction reflects more on our own personal or collective Insecurities than any true objective assessment of the social realities of that era. In a sense Costa Gavras in the First Video I posted in my blog says things about Greek inferiority complex which I feel could be applied to Iranians at time. How is it that such a Third World Country like Iran was to produce such a successful Diaspora at large product of the Pahlavi Educational system ?

Eminent Persians: The Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941-1979 (2 Volume Set) by Abbas Milani

BOOK: The Life and Times of the Shah by Gholam Reza Afkhami

Which did not stop many of them particularly in the Diaspora from becoming the Namak Nashnas Lot in the years that followed.

Fortunately It has not been so ungrateful :

NAMAK-NASHNAS NOT: Delshad Greets Shahbanou Farah

Mahnaz Afkhami: A Women For All Seasons (VOA/BBC Interviews)

3) Did I say the contrary ?

As to your points 1), 4) and 5) I believe they boil down to two questions:

a) Was the Shah's regime a Dictatorship ? My Answer is YES !

b) If Yes was a Revolution the Answer to Iran's deemed "ills" at the time ? My Answer is a DEFINITIVE NO !

I don't think we truly differ in our assessments that Democracy is the Best of Systems for any nation and any society and I think you would concur with Winston Churchill's famous statement that: "democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time"

However I find it interesting that you claim that I am justifying the shortcomings of the Shah's regime by comparing it those far worse of the current one and that therefore in your opinion my views are probably biaised. I will further down explain that is actually not what I am saying ... But then I could argue similarily that you are being biaised because you draw your conclusions on the Shah's Regime ( therefore the Monarchy) by comparing it's flaws ( and there were many) to the Most Perfect Democratic Systems existing in the West, such as Republican France where you had the opportunity to see Mehrjui's films ...

I don't think history is merely about a enunciating a succession of dates and events ... On the contrary I think history is first and foremost about putting things in perspective not in an aim of justifying the unjustifiable but Understanding the dillemas and challenges of not just a regime but  of society at large.

As Such some of the Trials during the Shah's era such as that of Golesorki ressemble those denounced in Costa Gavras's Film the Confession - except that in this case it was a Communist ( Marxist Eslami, Fedayeen Khalgh etc ...) being put on Trial :


If such types of trials took place it means that the Shah's regime was not entirely ideal nor democratic - even if Golesorkhi was given the opportunity to repent ( at the expense of renouncing to his ideals) to avoid execution which he boldly refused to do, which is respectable in it's own right because it proved he believed in what he did ( attempting to kidnap the Royal Family). Others were less courageous or determined I suppose than Golesorkhi for instance the head of Iran's Radio and Television  was a former Communist ( Sorry forgot his name ? ) who was pardoned by the Shah for trying to kill him ( or participating to an assassination attempt). Having pardoned him, the Shah named him head of the Radio and Television. Ironically he was arrested after the Revolution and executed by the Islamists.  

At times that makes me wonder cynically what if the likes of Golesorkhi had actually survived ? Would they have been any different from the revolutionary judges who sent many of our best generals and ministers to the execution squads ?

Would that justify his execution for that matter ? As a Human Being who is against Death Penalty, I would say definitively No he did not deserve a death penalty.

But in retrospect and at the risk of shocking you in my assessment I have to be honest about how I personally feel about Golesorkhis predicament and sad fate: At worst I feel Sorry for him.

But I cannot spill crocodile tears on what happened to him given that intellectually speaking he basically belonged to the ideological groups which were to destroy Iran untlimately : 

THE RED AND THE BLACK: Shah of Iran denounces the Unholy Alliance (1977/78) 

REPUBLICAN OFFSPRING: Massoud Rajavi at Tehran University during Presidential Campaign (1980)

It was these types of people and their vision which were dangerous to our society and ultimately gained ground. I am not even certain that their ideas would have been less dangerous in a perfectly democratic society less immune to manipulation because the likes of the Fedayeen Khalg or other such groups were no different than the Baader Meinhoff or Red Brigade Terrorists.

It is obvious that Golesorkhi's execution was used to set an example so as to discourage any direct challenge to the regime be it in the form of kidnapping or terrorist actions. It was a Cruel way of delivering Justice but he had a slight chance of avoiding the penaltly but prefered and WANTED Martyrsom, which is not always the case of Political Prisoners. His culprits who repented were pardoned. I clearly remember the Trial on TV and how one of the women broke down emotionally and asked forgiveness.

In the case of the IRI whether you repent or Not the fate seems the same: DEATH


But again Philisophically One cannot use this as a counter argument to the fact that a Dicatorship is a Dictatorship and the Shah's Regime had become one after 1953.

There is No such thing as a mild Dictatorship even if I used it in my thread below. A country is either fully a democratic system which allows freedom of opinion or it doesn't. In which case it arrests people for having an opinion or puts them on more or less Fake Trials accusing them of being enemies of the State.

So Yes the Shah's ABSOLUTE MONARCHY was a dictatorship after 1953.

That is not where I disagree with people who accuse the Shah's regime for it's lack of democracy and individual freedoms.

Where I disagree with them is on the reasons the Shah became a dictator in the first place.

This is something that historians are slowly and gradually trying to understand or at least come to terms with in regard to the Pahlavi regime 30 years later. Not in an aim to justify or find excuses for the Dictatorial nature of his regime but in order to better evaluate the share of responsabilities in the fatal outcome of the Revolution that toppled him as well as in the failures of those revolutionaries who claimed to be better, less corrupt and morally superior but not only failed to deliver what they promised the nation but brought about a system Far Worse that the one they replaced.  

Basically it takes a generation for historians to start looking at historical events objectively in order to starte evaluating a given era.

Abbas Milani, Mashadollah Adjoudani or more recently Darioush Bayandor ( See Fariba Amini's interview and my comment to eeroonman's thread) are amongst those historians who are doing this necessary work in an objective approach.

It is important to note that This kind of approach is Not Historical Revisionism. As is the case with Ahmadinejad when he holds a conference on the Holocaust claiming it did not exist in the name of pseudo Academic credentials.

Banalization of history by Darius KADIVAR

HOLOCAUST A MYTH: Michelle Renouf on Iranian SAHAR TV

Removing Kings from History:Iranian Education Minister sets up committee to eliminate kings from textbooks (bbc Persian)

No one is here to claim that certain events did not take place for instance or that Mossadegh was not overthrown forcefully or that what followed in Iran was a right path without the terrible consenquences we all were to witness at the end of the road ... 

But simply put it merely underlines that things are not what they appeared to be at the time they took place.

Wanting to describe the Islamic Revolution through the distorted spectrum that aims at drawing parrallels with the French Revolution for instance is absurd on many levels. And alas this has been the core of many of the books written on the Shah's fall often by Western Historians ranging from William Shawcross' The Shah's Last Ride to Stephan Kinzer's All the Shah's Men. I don't claim that what they wrote is False, or that one should not read them or that they are not interesting reads. I simply claim that they don't give you the FULL PICTURE of what happened or on the Shah's regime or his personality for that matter.

One has to confront those sources to other works and again 30 years is a little Short when it comes to history in general.

Whether we want it or not the Knowlegde we acquire from History progresses. It can never lead to a definitive conclusion because for every argument presented one can find a counter argument, but the knowledge of who and what we were  can lift some of the obscurity that surrounds our understanding of a given era or of certain people we thought we knew but in fact misjudged entirely as was the case for the Shah, Mossadegh or Khomeiny for that matter.

I personally believe the Truth on the Shah's era is something in between Your Interpretation and mine. I don't believe in Black and White or Good Vs Bad. The Truth is Often Grey ...

From that point of view I would like to refer you once again to another excellent interview by Fariba Amini (who is often at opposite ends with me when it comes to political evaluation of the Shah's regime because she is a staunch Mossadeghi and I tend to be a Staunch Monarchist ( Constitutional Monarchist that is and Not Absolutist)) with Azar Nafisi.

From Tehran to Lolita: Interview with Azar Nafisi by Fariba Amini

I invite you to read the entire interview but The passage that interested me and which I think is relevant to this discussion was the following:

Left or right, ideology is dangerous. I did not change my views about human rights, women’s rights or democracy, what I did change was an absolutist attitude. It happened to come to us in the form of a leftist ideology, but I see little difference between leftist and rightist ideologies. We need to think independently, to speak and have exchanges with all from different view points, but to make our decisions not based on group ideology, but on our own conscience. In attitude I have changed, in positions I have not. I have to add that I realized the flaws in our ideologies in the student movement when I returned to Iran and saw how dangerous it was to want freedom but to choose a repressive attitude to attain it. I did not think that the Islamic regime or the Shah were the only forces responsible for what happened to us. I wanted to know what right did the rest of the society play in bringing about this revolution. I still think that different groups with different views should have an honest assessment of their past mistakes, not other people’s mistakes but their own. This is not about blaming ourselves or others, but in order to understand where we were in order to know where we are going.

Well I think that 30 years On ... In attitude many of us have changed. I don't think Monarchist believe in Absolutism and have at larged embraced the ideas of Human Rights and Democracy as being inevitable.

That does not mean that the very concept of a Monarchy as opposed to a Republic is a purely Democratic concept. It actually is Not a Democratic Concept no more than the notion of a Flag or that of a Nation is a Democratic concept. It is actually an Elitist concept based on an Oligarchy but that does not make it illegitimate for that matter.

One can oppose it fundamentally from a philisophical standpoint but one cannot dismiss it simply because you believe that a Republic is what best guarantees a nation's well being and democratic process. Our Experience of the Revolution proved us the contrary and other examples of Revolutions in the 20th century that have led to Totalitarian or Dictatorial Republics ( equally Right Wing or Left Wing) abound.

Monarchies have certainly been Dictatorial in the past but I have Yet to see a Totalitarian Monarchy in the history of mankind. Given that Totalitarism is a 20th Century Concept.

As Such the Shah's Regime was Dictatorial beyond a shed of Doubt in that the Regime's structure ( Not It's Constitution ) put him at the Very Top of the Decision Making State apparatus. As Such he is accoutable equally for the accomplishments ( and they were Vast) as well as for the Failures. There is no middle ground or chance to escape Accountability.

But there is a line I believe between Accountability and Guilt which in the case of the Revolution is a Shared burden of both the Shah, the political elite and the Intelligenstia's failure to come to terms.

For when it comes to evaluating the individual guilt or responsabilities of a Failed experience such as the Islamic Revolution, I believe that blaming it solely on the Shah's shortcomings or that of his regime has become something of a scapegoat argument which is not lasting the test of time ...

Part of Our Iranian Intelligenstia was clairvoyant but tragically marginalized not just by the Shah but I believe as a direct outcome of the historical rivalry and suspicious born out of the 1953 crisis :

LESSONS IN DEMOCRACY: Shapour Bakhtiar Interview with LA TV (1987)

37 Days: A Cautionary Tale that should not be forgotten by Cyrus KADIVAR

the other half were merely demagogues:

HISTORY FORUM: Mashallah Ajoudani on Intellectuals and the Revolution

Mehdi Bazargan and the controversial legacy of Iran's Islamic intellectual movement

From this point of view I think that the Iranian Itelligenstia has yet to do what the French Call their "Examens de Conscience". To evaluate their share of responsability in what happened back in 1979.

People like Yves Montand or Simone Signoret Precisely went through this process of self examination of their so called loyalties towards the communist party after the Stalinist Trials. They realized How Wrong they were and decided to denounce the ideological manipulation of the Communist Party. Yet they remained close to the Left particularly Socialist Party without ever adhering to a political party so as to remain independant in thought and action.

Bakhtiar in his own way followed a similar intellectual evolution that led him against Odds to Join Hands with the Shah in a common cause as opposed to Sanjabi or Bazargan who were close friends and Francophiles:

BEHOLD THE PALE HORSE: French Socialists Pay Tribute to Shapour Bakhtiar

That it was too late maybe but the fact remains that his intellectual and political legacy 30 years on resonates even more Strongly as the only coherent Blue Print for Regime Change and Democracy:


I think Farrokhzad in a sense is saying the same thing in the video I posted.

This leads me to conclude that our failure to achieve a perfectly democratic society in the past 100 or so years which can Only partly be blamed on foreign Conspiracy Theories is essentially due Not only to our collective misunderstanding of that fundamental draft which was the 1906 Constitution (Aimed at defining the King's Role as merely Symbolic and leaving the Affairs of the State in the hands of an elected government and parliament):

PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY: Mozaffaredin Shah Signs First Draft of the Constitution (1906)

But Our Recurrent Failure as a Nation and particulalry as a Civil Society in the making To Get It's PRIORITIES Straight !

Will the current generation which seems much more aware of what it really wants be wiser in order to make a better choice for it's future than the generation of '79 ? I hope so ... But they are the only one's who can answer that question but more importantly make that dream of a Free and Democratic Iran become a Reality.

Lastly Looking at the Past Does Not mean We are Living in the Past or that we aim to go back to the same pattern of thought. There may be a different way of Re inventing ourselves and our political system, some like to believe that the Solution is a Secular Republic, I happen to believe it should be a Constitutional Monarchy. But What matters Most is to see the country Free and the establishment of a Democratic System whatever it's ultimate form will be which will guarantee both democracy and Human Rights and without having to resort to bloodshed to achieve it.

My Humble Opinion,






Yes JJ

by آشنا on

I remember your mom's round face and  happy smile. I clearly remember her painting exposition in "Narengestaan-e Ghavam, abstract paintings like splashes of paint. We were young guys then and she asked us to take a bunch of posters and put them on the walls and stores in Shiraz. Thanks for sharing pictures.  

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Thanks for your note. I have very good memories of Shiraz, including Jashn o Honar festival. Here's my mother and sister all dressed up at 1975 festival:

Welcome to iranian.com and home to meet you again someday :)



by آشنا on

Writing these comments to this blog reminded me to tell you that I have met you in Shiraz. You were only a little boy then . I went to Shiraz to see Jashn-e Honar in 70s and my cousin knew your parents and we went to see them. On my way back your mom gave me one of her paintings to take to Tehran and give it to somebody.

It is a small world. 



I hear you Darius

by آشنا on

As I said I will not turn this to another political discussion and I agree with some of your points but not all:

1- Much of your writing is about comparing the old regime with the current one. In that regard I agree with you but remember I was talking about a bitter experience that I had then but not after the revolution.

2-Everybody did not have access to Tehran film festivals. Only a very small group could obtain tickets because of their connections. Therefore we cannot look at those festivals as wide-open cultural events.

3- I am afraid Mehrjui was censured. I finally could watch his famous movie “Dayereh Meena” on French TV in a weekly program in 80s called “Cinéma interdit” [forbidden cinema] on 3ed channel in Paris. It was renamed as “Le cycle”

4- What I cannot give up is the question about democracy. I think, not being mature enough to have democracy is one thing but being stopped to move toward it is another. Maybe we were not mature enough but we had all the odds put in our way by the regime to not be able to get it. I don’t go into details because then I would contradict myself by getting into politics. I just give you a comparative example: when people question Kissinger about wrongdoings in 70s in Chile he replies: “well, we had the problem of communism.” To put it mildly this is called justification.    

5-In early 60s for about a decade there were good movies in TV and movie theaters but walking toward “Hezb-e Rastakheez” all that stopped and I know what I am talking about because I am old enough to see that and artistically aware enough to feel that “atmosphere”. But in some extent I agree with you. Yes, I saw the play “ORGHAST” and many others like “K MOUNTAIN AND GARDENIA TERRAS” and I remember people shouting and insulting while were leaving the crowd. But again not being open minded or not being educated enough to appreciate Avant Garde art is one thing and being deprived from it, because of the malice or the fear of a political power, is another. By the way allow me to say that the dilemma you are talking about in Shah’s regime as “Undemocratic Regimes which are at crossroads and hope to reform their system into a democratic oneis your personal “belief” and I have a lot of facts that prove the contrary. On the other point the level of education in Morocco or Tunisia has not and is not at the same level as Iran.

I enjoyed this and thanks again. 

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

State of the siege was in my mind probably MERCI BOUCOUP for bringing all of the 70-80's movie clips to revisit our younger happy days.      thanks again from an old movie fanatic; Maziar

Darius Kadivar

Maziar Jaan "Z" Was Set in Greece

by Darius Kadivar on

At the time of the Coup that Toppled the Constitutional Monarchy:

RESTORATION: Greek Constitutional Monarchy Toppled by Military Coup (April 21st, 1967)

It was Based on the True Story of a Greek Politician. It's explained in the videos and interviews I posted.

maziar 58

truely fantastic

by maziar 58 on

thank you Mr.kadivar.

And special thanks to Ms. RUSTA for posting one of my  80's favorite movie. was Z played by Eyves Montand about a Brazilian politician....?

MS. RUSTA try    yourbittorrent.com

they have phaedera (1962) by Mikis Theodorakis.'on mp3 to down load or buy the CD.               Maziar

Darius Kadivar

آشنا Jaan Thank you for your testimony

Darius Kadivar

I know and as a matter of fact this is also what I told Mr. Gavras ;0)

But I also told him that Personally I did see Gavras' Confession the Year of the Revolution in a Cinema in Shiraz.

The Irony however was that it was being shown at the time of the Revolutionary Trials where many Generals of the Imperial Army as well as Ministers were being executed arbitrarily.

I told him this too and he told me that Movies tend to be manichean but what matters is the message. Out of a given context some films can have the opposite effect they intended to have.

I suppose a Nation's Political and historical evolution has it's share of contradictions.

Alas The Shah's Regime was No exception to this Rule ...

But we did have access to a great number of films which dealt with social issues. "Gav" did face problems with the Censors but was finally released at the Tehran Film Festival thanks to the Shahbanou's Personal inteference in allowing it to be showcased in cinemas and other film festivals in the country:

MON CINEMA: Dariush Mehrjui discusses "THE COW"

The point that many directors including Mehrjui don't want to admit is that their films were Not as Popular as they claimed. Not because they were not good movies or that they were censored but because our society was becoming more and more a consumer society and popular entertainment was what drew people to the movies.

As such the Imperial Regime did not fear subversive films as much as the current regime does today. And apart from let's say films made in the Communist bloc, many films could be seen be it at small movie clubs or cinemateques. I remember seeing Chaplin's Modern Times and the Great Dictator on TV and even a film critic analyzing the movie's social and political messages. 

After the Revolution however I personally remember that all the communists and MKO had taken over the Television and we got to see for the first time Soviet Era Films like Potemkin as well as DW Griffith's Intolerance which we could never have seen under the Shah because they would be deemed politically subversive and anti monarchist.

Yet Good thing about Movies as for Books or any work of Art is that they express truths which are Universal.

When a government or regime tries to censor or stop people from reading or seeing them, they often contribute on the contrary to their success.

I personally think that Nothing should be censored. But there is an expression in French which I like very much which says:

"On Peut Rire de Tout, Mais Pas Toujours Avec Tout Le Monde"


"We Can Laugh at Everything, But Not Always with Everyone"

Take for instance a Joke that makes fun of Jews. It is obvious that if you were to share it with Neo Nazis the type of laughter you will get is not the same as if you shared it with Open minded Friends.

I think the same is true with the situation you described in Iran or in anyother nation where democracy is not entirely what it should be.

Democracy is an Undeniable Right but to deliver it is easier said than done. It demands collective maturity.

For instance we complain about political censorship during the Shah's time but we also complained at the Time that the Same Regime was encouraging Avant Garde Plays and Films like those of Jashneh Honar which shocked many who did not understand it.

Please read my arguments in the threads on a different blog Here:

"The Persians" on French TV

On How the Play ORGHAST was Wrongly Interpreted as a Pornographic display it WAS NOT !

This proves that as a society we may have had our own inhibitions and self censorship behaviors which did not allow a full understanding of some works of Art or understand the implications of free speach and the responsability it also implies in return.

I think as Individuals everone can be mature and ripe for democracy or the democratic experience but often as a group that is less obvious to achieve and it becomes more complicated to co exist with the concept than it seems at first.

That is actually the Dillema of all Undemocratic Regimes which are at crossroads and hope to reform their system into a democratic one when they realize that their people have reached a level of education or awareness which cannot be handled as a Teacher would handle it's students by punishing them with a Ruler.

If you go to Morroco or Tunisia today, you will also notice that certain films will not be shown or that some books won't be published or that the Press may be subject to different types of pressures that in turn create frustrations.

But I think that one also has to distinguish a Totalitarian State from a Dictatorship which in the case of Iran under the Shah was more of a Mild Dictatorship.

In a Totalitarian State EVERYTHING is Under Control. The Aim of the State is to CHANGE THE INDIVIDUAL and Not just to Stop him from having a given ideology.

Look at What Poetess Writer Parispur Say's about the difference of Treatment between the Shah's regime Secret Police (SAVAK) and Today's  IRI Secret Police (SAVAMA)

Shahrnush Parsipur interviewed by Luna Shad

Iran under the Shah has all the civil Liberties one could enjoy in a democratic society. The same is true today in Turkey, Tunisia or Morocco. But Political Freedoms or activism was not entirely tolerated at least not in the 70's.

This was less the case in the 1960's and prior to the Rastakhiz Fiasco:

pictory: Political Pluralism and Freedom of Press in Pahlavi Iran (1961)

But as long as you were not actively speaking against the Regime it was rare to see someone arrested for expressing an opinion. We had Karl Marx Das Capital available in any library. I even Saw Hitlers Mein Kampf which could be bought at our Local Book Store. The Same again is true if you go to the countries I mentioned above which are not particularly democratic.

But it is true that the lack of Political pluralism and the fact that everything was centralized and bureaucratic discouraged and frustrated the intelligenstia at large.

The Tragedy is that We did not necessarily need a Revolution to achieve those political freedoms on the long run.

HISTORY FORUM: Mashallah Ajoudani on Intellectuals and the Revolution

Mostafa Tajzadeh:Former deputy Interior Minister's speech a month before June 2009 elections ( Arrested Since):

But if there is a lesson to be learned today in retrospect is that Censorship should not exist. That governments should not treat their people as if they were kids.

However the intelligenstia also has to learn that they did have a responsability in educating the masses other than like a spoiled child merely demanding an immediate satisfaction of their rights including Freedom of speach and reunion. For clearly the intelligenstia of 1979 at large behaved (and for some alas still behave ) as an undeserving Namak Nashnas lot:

GAUCHE CAVIAR: Ebrahim Golestan interviewed by Massoud Behnoud (BBC Persian)

LOST IN TRANSLATION: NIAC Welcomes Hamid Dabashi on Advisory Board

In their Case they were Not Intellectuals in the True Meaning of the Word but rather ANN TELLECTUALS.

Fotunately That was Not the Case of ALL Iranian Patriots and True Intellectuals:

My Humble Opinion,







Dear Darius

by آشنا on

Thank you for these beautiful videos. Unfortunately my generation had been deprived to see any of Costa Gavras's movies in Iran during Shah's time. Once we were in ecstasy to learn that at least we could listen to the music of "Z" (sound tracks, not live orchestra) in the university which was organized by university authorities but SAVAC canceled it one day before it was going to happen. I am not trying to turn your cultural blog to another political discussion but to express a bitter memory.         


daily fix

by humanbeing on

thanks dk for this great blog with all the information and clips. it's been a long time since i've seen any costa gavras. gotta see l'avei again. i've never seen 'amen'.

farah, i can't hold back on your mention of mercouri and dassin to refer to the movie topkapi. also thank you for reminding me of vangelis, and bringing attention to mercouri/phaedra.

somehow everything always has a topical relevance.

Farah Rusta

Daris Jaan

by Farah Rusta on

Many thanks for the much valued infomation. You are a treasure trove of useful information.

Peace and blessings


Darius Kadivar

Mercouris' Phaedra & Irene Papas's Electra

by Darius Kadivar on

Thanks Farah Jaan,

Some films like Phaedra are difficult to find on the market unless they are reissued but I managed to find a copy here

Another Great Greek Drama is Electra directed by Michael Cacoyannis starring Irene Papas here

As for Gavras I think all his films are easily available on amazon.com or any DVD shop.

My Favorite Gavras films are those with Yves Montand because I think they shared much in common with one another and in terms of their Political evolution equally criticizing both Left Wing and Right Wing dictatorships which was very bold and honest on their part triggering critics from all sides. Many Communists hated Montand and Gavras for not following "Party" Guidelines and the Right Wing accused them of being Stalinists which was absurd.

Gavras' films truly defined political consciensness and awareness by denouncing State or ideological manipulations and denouncing torture in all it's forms.

I was less enthusiastic with some of his Hollywood Commercial films like MAD CITY but I did like The Music Box probably his best film in years. His latest film was East of Eden a drama centered on the predicament of Illegal immigrats to Europe.