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Every movement needs to tell its own story. The Green Wave, a partly fictionalized documentary hybrid about the popular Iranian uprisings in summer 2009, offers the sequence of events from the movement’s own perspective: compelling in its truth, to be sure, but also decidedly self-promotional. The film was put together over 10 frenzied months, but high-quality footage was hard to come by. To craft the narrative, director Ali Samadi Ahadi created two young activist characters and knitted scenes of stylized animation together with shaky video from the streets, Twitter posts, and blogs. All the way through, interviews with journalists, activists, and people of note—including Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi—tell viewers how they’re supposed to feel about the violence and injustices unfolding before them. Swelling music, ominous and hopeful by turns, completes the feeling of cinematic drama. As the Arab Spring continues to spread, The Green Wave is an absorbing reminder of where it started. More importantly, it’s a recruitment tool, both for activists in the Middle East and the Westerners who might be inspired to support the cause.
Wednesday, June 22 at 5:30 p.m. at AFI Silver 2.