In the aftermath of the Bassidj crackdown on Iranian protestors, filmmaker Mehran Tamadon presents a compelling study of the religious and political convictions that puts the militia group directly at odds with country's growing reform movement. Taking their name from the Persian term for "mobilized," the Bassidj first came to prominence during the Iran-Iraq War, where they put their lives on the line in support of their country's elite troops. By the time the fighting ceased, the Bassidj had become a crucial component of Iranian culture, performing public services and volunteering in schools and mosques. Today the Bassidji are as active as ever. Recruited by Iranian leaders to quell the moderate uprising, they took to the streets fully armed and ready for confrontation. After following mourners to the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq War to watch them pay their respects to the dead, Tamadon engages Bassidji leaders in a dialogue about their purpose in the present, and their goals for the future. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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