1979 was a watershed year of history. It began with the Islamic revolution in Iran, and ended with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In between, Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel to the outrage of the Arab countries, Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq, China invaded Vietnam, Margaret Thatcher became the UK’s first female Prime Minister, Mohammed Zia ul-Haq hanged Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Bhutto and begins nuclear proliferation with India, and the long hostage crisis began in Tehran. Yet the most pivotal event of 1979 is still shrouded in secret.
Director Dirk van den Berg lifts the veil on an earth-shattering event with lasting consequences on our present, in this French-German co-production by K2 Productions (Paris) and OutreMer Film, sustained by ARTE France; Germany's NDR, WDR, HR, RBB; Austria's ORF; the Hamburg Film Fund; INA French National Audiovisual Institute; the CNC and PBS Distribution.
For the first time, this film aims to provide a missing link that allows to understand how an almost forgotten event made held the balance of a year - 1979 - that itself was pivotal for world history, and as some say marked the beginning of modernity. A missing link in the understanding of the turmoil created by the rise of religiously motivated extremism of the last four decades. A missing link into the Middle East, a region we still know far too little about. And a missing link to Saudi Arabia, home and epicenter of Islam - a country as hermetic as it is crucial for the world's progress, as rooted in tradition as it is pushing for major change, once again.
Four years of research allowed exclusive access to archives and first-hand accounty from Arab, French, German and American military, intelligence and civilian sources. They will allow us to debunk the simplistic equations of "good" and "evil", "us" and "them", and to understand the roots of Islamist extremism that is afflicting the world - since 1979.
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written & directed by
DIRK VAN DEN BERG
HENRIK SAUER bvk
PASCAL VERROUST and
DIRK VAN DEN BERG
documentary, 90' & 52'
English, French, Arabic
France / Germany
Whilst in production, project information and teaser access are available only upon request: please contact us directly.