Animating the revolution…

Following on from our very lively discussion on social media in the middle east unrest, some news ha come to light regarding the use of blogs in Iran.

For some years, blogging in Iran has been an intriguing phenomenon that sees an ever-increasing amount of bloggers despite the poor bandwidth and some high-profile prosecutions. Blogs were something of a precursor to the social media of today that were used to so extensively during the current spate of protests.

Now a new movie, ‘The Green Wave’ (the trailer for which is embedded above), is being released to try and give some context to the events in the middle east by depicting the Green protests against the theocracy of president Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad during the 2009 Iranian elections. Largely using blogs detailing the protests, the film-makers give a series of impressionistic sketches of  the events and also the violent and traumatic aftermath.

As you can see from this BBC review, the animation is reminiscent of 2008’s highly successful ‘Waltz With Bashir’, the story of a former Israeli soldier piecing together his memories of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. ‘The Green Wave’ seems all set to be a highly popular successor to both ‘Waltz With Bashir’ and 2007’s ‘Persepolis’, another animated feature that depicted a young girl’s view of the Iranian revolution of 1979 and her experiences growing up as an Iranian abroad.

The film is a timely reminder not just of the reigns of terror and brutality that violently punctuate the middle east – of which there are plenty around at the moment – but a reminder of the personal stories of tragedy and triumph that surround the region as well as the fact that the middle east revolutions we currently see had predecessors.

Iran has a very complex political system – as the infographic below shows – and for those wishing to find out more from the bloggers themselves about the true complexity of the Iranian situation and of the plight of its people, check out this highly informative piece and Harvard university’s excellent ‘Mapping the Persian blogosphere map’ page.


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