Irish Film Institute -IFI Documentary Festival: COUP 53

IFI Documentary Festival: COUP 53

Director: Taghi Amirani

119 mins, Iran-UK-USA, 2019, Digital

While making a documentary about the CIA/MI6 coup in Iran in 1953, Iranian director Taghi Amirani and editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient) discover never seen before archive material hidden for decades. The 16mm footage and documents not only allow the filmmakers to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but it also leads to explosive revelations about dark secrets buried for 67 years. Working with Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Schindler’s List, The English Patient) to help bring the lost material to life, what begins as a historical documentary about four days in August 1953 turns into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters. The roots of Iran’s volatile relationship with America and Britain have never been so forensically and dramatically exposed.

Notes by David O’Mahony

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Taghi Amirani and Walter Murch hosted by Tara Brady of the Irish Times.

Screening as part of the IFI Documentary Festival 2022, September 21st to 25th.


The film’s editor is Walter Murch, who worked on “The Conversation” and “The Godfather: Part II”  (both 1974) so there’s not much that he doesn’t now about conspiracy — how it leaks into a movie like the smell of drains. – Anthony Lane – The New Yorker

It is without question one of the greatest of all documentaries. Apart from its importance as a revelatory history lesson, it’s a masterpiece of humanity, thoroughness and consummate film craft. – Mike Leigh – Winner of the Palme d’Or

This powerful and authoritative documentary by the Iranian filmmaker Taghi Amirani is as gripping as any thriller. – Peter Bradshaw – The Guardian

This is big. This is going to be big. – Werner Herzog

Book Tickets

Friday 23rd