Saturday, February 12, 2005

Fajr TV
It’s been a week of revolutionary tv punctuated with French spy movies. Two days ago I was channel surfing when I caught sight of chanting masses with their red, blood-covered hands lifted high in the air. My stomach turned as I remembered my friends’ stories of being beaten during the marches. I could not see the red hands without imagining them at the other end of the blood.

Later in the week, the day before the 26th anniversary of Khomeini’s arrival in Tehran, channel 2 showed a documentary about the revolution over and over again. The scenes look like a French film from the 70s. Most of the men are wearing flared pants and sporting big, thick mustaches. There is something touching and heart-wrenching about the documentary. The people in the streets are so excited, so filled with optimism and enthusiasm. The shah looks so sad and filled with regret. It is somewhat painful to watch this documentary. It is different from most of the other clips they show of the revolution. Most of the others are carefully edited to show only the Islamic part of the revolution. The documentary shown on the day before the anniversary is quieter and less contrived.

“Khomeini’s speech on arriving in Iran is now forbidden,” I am told. Many of his writings are also forbidden.

Those serials I wrote about earlier: the ones that portray the time of the shah… Remember those? K has forbidden anyone to watch them in our home. “The way they portray Jews may be ridiculous,” he tells me, “but the way they portray women is just nasty. They turn women into monsters who only care about money and control. The men are weaklings who are manipulated by the women.”

“They want you to think that in the time of the shah, women controlled everything,” his sister comments.

Another serial we don’t watch.

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