Mossadegh & Me is a film about how we remember the 1950s in Iran, and the CIA coup that ousted then Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.
In 1979, the Iranian Hostage Crisis shocked the world. The crisis received more non-stop press coverage than any other event since World War II. Americans, for the first time, asked, "Why do they hate us?" As an Iranian-American kid, director Gita Saedi Kiely asked that question, too. That’s when her father told her about Mohammed Mossadegh.
The story of Mossadegh (1882-1967) is woven into the fabric of every Iranian family. As Prime Minister of Iran, Mossadegh initiated democracy in the Middle East half a century before the United States declared the ideology a justification for war in the region. He became a symbol of independence and hope for a people. And the story of his rise and fall has as much to do with American history as it does Iranian history. His tenure came to an abrupt halt when the newly-formed C.I.A. implemented its first covert coup d’etat. In August of 1953, Mossadegh was ousted, arrested for treason, and replaced by the Western-endorsed Shah of Iran.
Iranians hold onto this complicated history no matter where they reside. Mossadegh & Me will follow Saedi Kiely’s father and his peers as they remember this moment in Iran – as students, activists and dreamers. By examining the subjectivity of perception and recollection (the "Rashomon effect"), Mossadegh & Me will explore how we remember the past as it fits into our own cultural narrative. Attaching personal memories to this tumultuous time, Mossadegh & Me spins a cautionary tale of historic importance while ruminating on ideas of homeland and history.