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  • Still from Before the Revolution

    Still from Before the Revolution

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The Film

Dan Shadur's brother can't forget the day in November 1978 when he stood on the balcony of his family's apartment in Tehran and watched thousands of demonstrators clash with tanks and soldiers of the Shah's regime. His mother stood behind him, trembling, baby Dan in her arms. The next day, the Israeli embassy ordered the Shadur family, along with thousands of other Israeli citizens, to evacuate the city. The Islamic Revolution had begun.

Dan's father stayed behind, and only managed to escape in 1979 with the help of others from the Isaraeli Embassy and the Mossad. Two years later, he died, leaving nothing but some 8 millimeter film for his sons to remember Tehran by.

Director Dan Shadur is 30 — the same age as his father had been that fateful year. He set out to discover the man his father was, and the humble beginnings he imagined his parents had had. Instead, he discovers the extravagant lives of led by many Israelis in pre-Revolution Iran, and of Israel's intimate connection with the Shah's violent and corrupt regime.

Using exclusive 8mm footage and rare television archival clips, Before the Revolution offers a glimpse of Israel's dramas in the Middle East, and illuminates the cycles of change in the region, all the way up to the Arab Spring of 2011. The film tracks one of the first great modern first popular uprisings in the Middle East through the people who experienced it firsthand without realizing its historic import or its ongoing consequences.

The Filmmakers

  1. Dan ShadurDirector
  2. Barak HeymannProducer