Oct 15 2009
Letters to the President is a documentary showing the harsh and repressive life that Iranians endure under the repression of Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs. Since Iranians understand that corrupt and incompetent local officials have nothing to offer, the populist Ahmadinejad receives hundreds of thousands of letters from desperate people begging for scraps from a benevolent dictator. They have about as much hope of getting a positive response as from writing a letter to Santa Claus, but in the absence of real democracy or economic opportunity, the tradition persists.
After catching a screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival, the director stuck around to ask questions. “Given what some of the brave young people in the film are saying about Ahmadinejad’s regime, are you hopeful about the future for Iran?” I asked.
Director Peter Lom shook his head, noting that many young people had been co-opted by the hardline government, such as those who joined the Basji (the paramilitary volunteer militia accused of killing and torturing 2009 election protesters). And it’s not just in Iran — here in Canada, Lom said his Iranian assistant director had been threatened in Farsi by the moderator of a publicity event for the film.
Still, as Lom says, the brutality of the Iranian regime has shown all but the most brainwashed dead-enders that “the Emperor has no clothes”. Anti-colonialism and anti-Americanism plays well around the world, but Ahmadinejad and the theocracy can no longer distract the Che Guevara T-shirt crowd from the fact that they are no longer revolutionary. The regime and it’s supporters are counter-revolutionary. And the democratic revolution won’t be stopped forever.
Marg bar dictator.