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.
"1979" aims to provide a missing link that would tell us about a crucial yet almost forgotten event, in a year - 1979 - that was a turning point for world history.
A missing link in the understanding of the turmoil created by the rise of religiously motivated extremism of the last four decades.
And a missing link into the Middle East, a region we still know far too little about, and Saudi Arabia, home and center of Islam - and a country as hermetic as it is crucial for the world's energy supply.
We aim to debunk simplistic equations of "good" and "evil", "us" and "them", and about the roots of violent Islamist extremism that has been afflicting the world for decades.
After four years of research, we have gathered access to exclusive archives and to protagonists with first-hand accounts from Arab, French, German and American military and intelligence sources.
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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.