Sunday, December 02, 2007

A série televisiva que parece que está a fazer sucesso no Irão

Iran Holocaust drama is a big hit

Jackbooted Nazis are rounding up Jews for the concentration camps, while terrified Parisians look on.

It is a familiar plot for a television blockbuster. And this time the formula has been as popular as ever, drawing in massive audiences week after week.

The only difference is that this is a series made for Iranian state TV, and it has been piling up the ratings in the country whose president once questioned the very existence of the Holocaust.

The fact that Zero Degree Turn has been allowed on TV, shows the official sensitivity over the accusations of anti-Semitism that have followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's various comments about Israel and the Holocaust.


The series has gone a step beyond simply acknowledging the Holocaust.

The central character is an Iranian diplomat, who provides false Iranian passports to enable Jews to flee the Nazi-occupied France, a sort of the Iranian Schindler. He even has a love affair with a Jewish woman.

The writer and director of the series, Hassan Fathi, says he used a true story from World War II to show the outside world they have the wrong impression of Iran.

"In those terrible years there were many people who could help the Jews, but they didn't because they were afraid they would be arrested," Mr Fathi explains.

"But some Iranians, when they saw they could save some Jews, they left their fear behind and did so - because of their character and their culture, their beliefs and their traditions," he adds

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