Today we have a guest blogger, writing about a documentary on Iran from the 1970s. Our guest is Dr. Lidia Merás and the subject, Cyrus’ Awakening [watch here], a film made by her former neighbor and the renowned journalist Enrique Meneses:
Old school journalist Enrique Meneses, the person behind the famous pictures of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro in Sierra Maestra (1958), visited Iran at least four times. The first visit was in 1958, after being expelled from Iraq following King Faisal II’s assassination. He returned in 1974 commissioned by Spanish Public television to make a reportage for the memorable series ‘Los reporteros’ [The reporters, TVE1].
Cyrus’ Awakening gives an in-sight on contemporary Iran in the aftermath of the oil-fueled ‘Green revolution’. Meneses interviewed Mohamed Reza Pahleví and the empress Farah Diba who were engaged in modernizing of the country (banning polygamy, granting women with the same rights than men and promoting contemporary art, among other contributions). After an historic introduction to Persia, the ancient name for Iran, the film outlines the country’s economy agenda and political alliances as well as some aspects on mass media, higher education, folklore, craftsmanship and religion…all in thirty minutes. Interestingly enough, Meneses explains some key ideas on Zoroastrian beliefs, whereas Shiite Islam is never mentioned.