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(Bassidji) Director: Mehran Tamadon , F - IR - A, 2009, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 114 min

Director Mehran Tamadon, an Iranian living in France, travels to his native land with the aim of penetrating the intellectual world of the so-called Bassidjis - fanatical supporters of the Islamic Republic of Iran. These people first emerged during the Iran-Iraq War as members of voluntary paramilitary units. To this day they continue to serve as a civil militia that is completely loyal to the ideas of the Islamic Republic. They were the ones who led the most brutal attacks on opposition demonstrators during the last Iranian elections. In filming for almost three years and recording countless interviews, Tamadon (who is himself an atheist and the son of communist activists) attempted to understand the roots of religious fundamentalism, which goes hand in hand with intolerance and nationalism. A large part of his distinctive film dialogue takes place at a pilgrimage site near the border with Iraq, where thousands of Iranians go every day to pay homage to the memory of those who perished during the Iran-Iraq conflict and where martyrs from the Bassidji enjoy the most respect today.


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