The Shah and the Ayatollah

A film by Holger Preusse, WDR/SWR/ARTE, 52 & 43 min.

Forty years ago, a revolution in Iran led by Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the ruler Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and with this a monarchy that had lasted over 2,500 years. The story of the Shah begins with bright ideas and strong ideals, and ends in bloody turmoil. From the beginning of his reign and in his aspirations to modernise Iran, the Shah depended on the support of the clergy and the mullahs. Finally, it is they who bring him down. The struggle between the Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini lasts many decades. In the end, Islamic fundamentalism triumphs, heralding a new challenge for global politics.

Commissioning editors:
Beate Schlanstein (WDR)
Ulrike Becker (SWR)
Peter Gottschalk (ARTE)