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The Secret Fatwa

Synopsis: 
The Secret Fatwa uncovers a crime unique in the history of state crimes--a political massacre that continues to haunt the Islamic Republic of Iran. In a recently revealed audio tape, a high ranking Ayatollah calls it the worst atrocity committed by his country.
The story starts in July 1988 when the Islamic Republic suddenly puts its prisons under lockdown. The only permitted visits are by a 3-member committee: an Islamic judge, a public prosecutor and an intelligence officer. The committee briefly and individually questions thousands of political prisoners about their beliefs. Nothing short of a medieval Inquisition, except that the prisoners are not told that their lives depend on their answers.
Filmmaker Delnaz Abadi, who fled Iran in 1984, connects with old friends and former political prisoners to reconstruct what happened behind the closed doors of Iran's prisons in 1988. Combining survivor testimonies with reenactments and archival footage, the film peels away the layers of a secret that the Islamic Republic has tried to bury for decades, a crime against humanity that the survivors have vowed never to forget.
 
 

Categories:

Runtime: 
54:19:00
English subtitle: 
Yes

Subtitles:

Information for the Audience: 

In 1988, the Islamic Republic of Iran suddenly locked down its prisons, where thousands of political prisoners were serving their sentences, some as long as seven years.

The only permitted visitation was from a 3-member committee: an Islamic judge, a public prosecutor and an intelligence officer. The committee briefly questioned almost every political prisoner about his or her beliefs. Nothing short of a medieval Inquisition, except that the prisoners were not told that their life depended on their answers.

Five months later, the prison authorities summoned the prisoner families and gave each a bag:

“Your prisoner was executed.”

— no explanation, no last will, no body, no grave.

To this day, talking about it is a taboo in Iran.

Combining survivor testimonies with reenactments and archival footage, The Secret Fatwa uncovers the secret massacre of more than 4000 political prisoners in Iran, a crime unique in the known history of state crimes.

 

Directed, Produced & Edited by

Delnaz Abadi

Co-Producers

Amir Soltani & Denise Zmekhol

Cinematography

Rachel Mercy Simpson

Orignial Score

Gunnard Doboze

 

 

Screenings / Awards: 

United Nations Association Film Festival - October 28 2017 Palo Alto, Californian, USA

Toronto International Independent Film Festival - January 19, 2018 to January 20, 2018

Directed by: 
Delnaz Abadi
Writing credits: 
Delnaz Abadi, Amir Soltani, Sepideh Hosseini
Produced by: 
Delnaz Abadi, Amir Soltani, Denise Zmekhol
Music by: 
Gunnard Doboze
Cinematography by: 
Rachel Mercy Simpson
Film Editing by: 
Delnaz Abadi
Release Date: 
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Official sites: 
http://www.thesecretfatwa.org
Total votes: 1350

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