The Green Wave | Movie review
Amateur footage by civilians is the most effective part of this documentary on Iran’s Green Movement.
It’s a subject ready for a necessary, major documentary: the Green Movement running up to and following Iran’s 2009 elections. Virtually the entire populace of one of the world’s most notoriously oligarchical nations rose up with joy and community in hopes of change, and then had its “revolution” crushed by corrupted balloting, military slaughter, torture and ramped-up oppression. It was and is a heartbreaking paradigm, but this new film carries only a modest payload, thanks to the decision to dress up the drama with cheap digital animation, poorly acted (and unattributed) narrations and overemphatic sentimentality.
The revelations and blood-pressure spikes come from the amateur footage taken by civilians—most if not all of it on cell phones—which is aptly supported by a phalanx of angry talking heads (scholars, journalists, ex-militia, etc.). From the hundreds of thousands of green-swathed Mousavi supporters occupying the city streets to the election-night blackout (only tweets escaped, apparently), the subsequent protests (where is my vote?, the signs say, in English) and the unleashing of homicidal state force in the streets, the saga cries out for a doc more respectful of its audience. At the very least, it needs one less dedicated to “making us feel” the injustice by way of cartoons and treacly music. (Available on VOD Fri 10.)