Coup 53

Award-winning director Taghi Amirani’s decade-long investigation into the 1953 CIA/MI6-led coup that overthrew Iran’s democratic Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh is a captivating tour-de-force.

Dir Taghi Amirani
Prod Paul Zaentz
Scr Walter Murch, Taghi Amirani
With partial English subtitles (some scenes are not in the English language)
Prod Co Amirani Media

August 1953 is a date Iranians remember well. ‘Operation Ajax’, a coup orchestrated by British and American intelligence services, marked the end of a democratically elected government, reinstated the Shah and most crucially ended Mossadegh’s most significant policy: the nationalisation of Iranian oil. What began as an interrogation into the mystery that still surrounds the affair, develops into a taut thriller, exposing rigorous secrecy and underlining the ongoing ramifications of this pivotal political episode. They say the truth is wilder than fiction and this film reveals aspects of an actual incident that were determinedly buried. Working with legendary editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient), Amirani’s compelling documentary ensures that this is one history lesson that you won’t forget.

Elhum Shakerifar

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Taghi Amirani, director; Walter Murch, screenwriter.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

Tickets for the additional screening are on sale to BFI Champions/Patrons Thu 19 Sep 10:00, BFI Members Thu 19 Sep 11:00 and to the public from Fri 20 Sep 10:00.