Monday, September 17, 2007

Iranian Miniseries

Hey everyone! This afternoon I was paging through the Journal-Setinel and I came across an article in the NATION/WORLD segment. It was a rather good size write up about a new miniseries airing in Iran.

The show is called "Zero Degree Turn" and is strikingly similar to "Schindler's List." It tells the story of an Iranian diplomat stationed in Paris during WW2. He becomes sympathetic to the Jews' plight and rescues hundreds by giving out Iranian passports. The show is really getting people talking both in Tehran, Iran, Europe and here in North America.

There are several amazing facets to this new show. First of all, it was required to be condoned by Iran's clerical leadership in order to be aired. Since most broadcasting is done by the government, (including this miniseries), which is run by a President who has publicly questioned whether the Holocaust ever took place, this subject matter is touchy to say the least. It is impressive that a show clearly sympathetic toward the Jews and their misfortunes was allowed to run. Normally the Holocaust is RARELY mentioned by state media in Iran and hardly at all taught in public schools. Iranians have very little information about it.

Here is a website to learn more.

Normally in all media produced by the state, women are required by a state-mandated Islamic dress code to wear burkas. For the first time actresses are appearing free from this unrealistic costume. (Since the show is set in WW2 Paris the producers definitely wanted their characters to reflect 1940s dress and style).

Many Iranians are learning about the atrocities of the Holocaust that had been unmentioned or denied for decades. The show has a very popular following in Iran and with 8 episodes left, has already started working on syndication within the US and Britain.

I'm wondering WHY, suddenly, Iran, (and thus it's Islamic leadership) is allowing such changes and programming to be aired? Perhaps they're trying to embrace the 25,000 Jews currently living within the borders? Or maybe the country is trying to appear less Anti-Semitic? It is certainly a first and hopefully not a last for this ultra-censored government run media industry.

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