|No events for Before the Revolution: The Untold Story of the Israeli Paradise in Iran|
About The Film
With tensions currently running high between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran, it can easily be forgotten that it was not always this way. During the 1960s and ’70s, the two countries conducted civilian trade and military arms deals, exchanged technological expertise, and maintained covert diplomatic relations. Iranians visited Israel to see family or receive medical treatment, and Israeli tourists to Iran abounded. Moreover, thousands of Israeli expats lived the high life in Tehran, enjoying vast whitewashed villas, swimming pools, and luxurious department stores, not to mention hobnobbing with the Iranian elite at embassy parties or the Shah’s gaudy palace. Their relationship with the dreaded secret police is still unclear, but there was no ignoring the poverty and political repression going on in Iran under the Shah. However, insulated and cloistered in their comfortable bubble, the Israelis failed to note that the decadent golden age was about to end: the despot’s regime was collapsing quickly, and Khomeini’s revolution was taking hold. Many were overconfident of their position, naively refusing to leave and ending up trapped, hiding in safe houses while mobs raged outside until they managed to escape. This illuminating documentary from directors Dan Shadur and Barak Heymann (PAPER DOLLS, SJFF 2007; STALAGS, SJFF 2009) uses archival newsreel footage, Super 8 home movies, and family photos to supplement recent interviews with Mossad agents, business leaders, and high-level Israeli diplomats to reveal a distant era lost in the chaos of revolution.
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