Coup 53 – Virtual Cinema

Monday, August 17, 2020

Tirgan proudly presents the premiere of COUP 53, a film by Taghi Amirani, starring Ralph Fiennes.

“From January 6 to February 28”

The story of America and Britain overthrowing democracy in Iran in 1953, told in extraordinary detail using never seen before footage and documents. Brought to life with a unique and mesmerizing performance by Ralph Fiennes.

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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 began as a historical documentary about four days in August 1953 turned into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters. The roots of Iran’s volatile relationship with America and Britain has never been so forensically and dramatically exposed.

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Left to right: Walter Murch, Ralph Finnes, Taghi Amirani on the set of COUP 53. Photo credit: Ali Amirani

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Ralph Finnes as British spy Norman Darbyshire in COUP 53. Photo credit: Chris Morphet

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COUP 53 animation by Martyn Pick

“This is big. This is going to be big!”
Werner Herzog


“passionate and fearless”
“will enthrall documentary and history geeks”
“jaw dropping revelations”
“has the air of something that grew from an impudent home movie into a magnum opus”
Todd McCarthy – Hollywood Reporter

“as compelling as a John Le Carre novel or a Costa-Gavras classic”
Allen Hunter – Screen Daily

“a superb work of journalism and research”
Vancouver Observer

“Amazing. Beautifully done. Clever use of archive. Unique.”
Oliver Stone

“an astonishing feat of film-making”
London Metro

“a work of art and a masterpiece of political intervention”
“a thriller that had me on the edge of my seat”
“beyond extraordinary”
Ariel Dorfman

“Nail-bitingly suspenseful”
“Plays like a thriller on the big screen”
Carol Nahra – International Documentary Association

“masterful storytelling makes this a taut and thrilling watch”
“captivating tour-de-force”
Elhum Shakerifar – BFI London Film Festival

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