PBS Frontline Documentary Inside the Iranian Uprising

August 25, 2023


Review: Recommended

This one-hour film, available on YouTube, takes you through how the September 16, 2022 murder of 22-year-old Mahsa “Jina” Amini because her hijab (headscarf) didn’t completely cover her hair by Iran’s notorious “morality police” sparked the powerful nationwide “Women-Life-Freedom” uprising that became one of the most serious threats to the stability of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) in its 44-year history.

You watch up-close-and-personal footage of the incredibly courageous and inspiring uprising, in which women and the struggle against women’s oppression—symbolized in Iran by the compulsory hijab—are front and center. Individual stories of inspiring resistance are spotlighted, letting you get inside the hopes and dreams of the fearless young protesters. You see the response by Iran’s Islamic regime: deadly beatings, sadistic shootings, mass arrests, and executions that are still going on. You hear the regime’s lying excuses for its vicious repression: that the uprising involving hundreds of thousands of Iranians is simply the work of “foreign services.”

Jina was Kurdish (a minority nationality murderously oppressed in Iran and neighboring countries) and the documentary shows the intense street battles that took place in Iran’s Kurdish region. (The documentary does not cover the struggles by other non-Persian nationalities, such as the Baluch, who’ve paid the highest price in protester lives lost, against the regime and their oppression.)

Within hours of its August 8 premiere, the documentary received almost 1,000 comments, mostly from people deeply moved who had little or no prior knowledge of the depth of repression and struggle in Iran. Sharing it broadly is one important way to prepare for the fast-approaching anniversary of the uprising.