Segments in this Video

Introduction: Our Man in Tehran Part 1 (04:27)


This series will examine stories from inside Iran. Thomas Erdbrink describes how he met his wife at a solar eclipse while pretending to be Michael Jackson. A strict Islamic religious regime replaces Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's rule after a popular uprising. (Credits)

Love in the Islamic Republic: Family (05:13)

Erdbrink is one of the last foreign journalists allowed to film in Tehran; it took four years to obtain permission for this documentary. His father-in-law and friends discuss women. During lunch, the family discusses how Newsha Tavakolian proposed to Erdbrink.

Love in the Islamic Republic: Women (06:32)

Erdbrink finds Iranians friendly to foreigners. He visits his assistant Somayeh; it is difficult for a divorced, single woman to find an apartment to rent. People in Tehran are more accepting of women not wearing the traditional chador.

Love in the Islamic Republic: Dolat Abad (05:54)

Five daily prayers determine the schedule of the day; women wear all black. Erdbrink visits Somayeh's family to discuss their feelings about her divorce. Things change little in the small town; the women gather for a Quran class.

Love in the Islamic Republic: Transportation (03:36)

Erdbrink meets a female truck driver who wears a chador. A woman can only sit in the front of a bus if she is accompanied by her husband. The pomegranate is the symbol of love.

Love in the Islamic Republic: Iranian Culture (03:19)

Journalists tend to pick subjects that are only interesting to other countries. Erdbrink tries to undermine cliches and give a different point of view. Westerners want to hear confirmation that Iranians follow Ayatollah Khomeini without questioning.

A World Apart (02:59)

Tehranians spend several hours in gridlocked traffic. Erdbrink tints his car windows so Tavakolian can remove her veil without harassment. Security agents arrest and detain Jason Rezaian and his wife.

A World Apart: Down with U.S.A. (05:29)

Every year, Iranians celebrate the anniversary of taking American diplomats hostage. Ramin Mostaghim explains that hating the United States is a pillar of ideology. Erdbrink describes how the coup d'etat orchestrated by the United States against Mohammad Mosaddegh soured relations between the two countries.

A World Apart: The Great Satan (05:53)

Religious leaders mix politics with spirituality in an attempt to blame the west for anything wrong in Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini feels that any discussion with America is pointless. "Mr. Bigmouth" describes why he chants "Death to America, Israel, and England."

A World Apart: Economic Sanctions (02:53)

ATMs are useless in Iran; foreigners need stacks of money. Individuals buy and sell dollars on street corners.

A World Apart: Celebrated Poet (05:25)

Rezaian remains imprisoned without an official complaint. The government is inconsistent with punishments to intimidate and isolate citizens. In Shiraz, individuals hope to receive answers at the tomb of Hafez.

A World Apart: Arrests and Convictions (05:36)

Authorities accuse Rezaian of masterminding a video parody of the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. "Mr. Bigmouth" describes how men will search for naked girls on the internet. Barack Obama signs a deal lifting economic sanctions; Rezaian is released a day later.

The Empty River of Life (04:14)

Local discuss the drought in Iran and blame America for the dried river. Seyed Ebrahim describes how the Ayatollah lived in a tiny apartment on a budget of less than $200 a month.

The Empty River of Life: Martyrdom (04:36)

Ebrahim is happy that his son died in defense of his country and for Islam. Lifesize portraits of martyrs adorn Tehran's walls. Those who sacrificed themselves are buried in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery. Pilgrims mark Ashura.

The Empty River of Life: Iran-Iraq War (03:17)

The daughter of a martyr discusses her father's life and sacrifice. Iranians find it easier to make sense of incomprehensible events than westerners.

The Empty River of Life: Drought (03:31)

The river bed has been dry for three years. Erdbrink and local citizens discuss when the water will return and environmental practices. It has not rained in Iran for almost 13 years.

The Empty River of Life: Religion and Sacrifice (02:53)

A mural in Tehran depicts a soldier from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who was killed at Aleppo. The Ayatollah comforts a widow whose husband participated in a holy war. Citizens discuss whether soldiers should be fighting in Syria.

The Empty River of Life: Holy Wars (06:21)

Erdbrink meets a soldier who fought in Syria and Iraq seven times. His mission is to protect the holy Shiite shrines. ISIS will ruin the country.

The Empty River of Life: Train to Isfahan (01:25)

Passengers state that the water has returned to the river of life. The Zayanderud disappears three weeks later.

The Rules of the Game (03:58)

Members of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting pray for success and guidance. The Ministry of Information gives permission for books to be printed. Men discuss being sentenced, whipped, and arrested for drinking alcohol.

The Rules of the Game: Interpreting the Law (04:00)

The morality police stop Somayeh because they do not believe she is properly dressed. Women pay exorbitant prices to have their face made-up or cosmetic surgery. Women find a man's income most important.

The Rules of the Game: Iranian Cinema (07:55)

Men and women are unable to hug or kiss on film. Mahnaz Afshar acts in romance films and can convey emotion in a glance. Exercise is allowed, but jumping or dancing is not. The film crew discusses how to film a Zumba class.

The Rules of the Game: Islamic Republic (05:54)

The government asserts its authority by invoking the will of God. Somayeh reveals the coat the morality police deemed improper and the outfit she wears to teach students. The censor determines that the women performing exercise could not be shown on television.

The Rules of the Game: Explanation (04:18)

In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive or vote. There are masculine authorities who prefer to keep women restricted. Nahijeh is prepared to make sacrifices to protect her freedoms and make Iran a better place for her children.

The Rules of the Game: Sanctions (01:52)

Somayeh wants to leave Iran and study abroad.

Credits: Our Man in Tehran Part 1 (01:01)

Credits: Our Man in Tehran Part 1

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Our Man in Tehran Part 1

Part of the Series : Our Man in Tehran
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A fascinating and revealing view of life inside Iran, with NYTimes correspondent Thomas Erdbrink. With humor and curiosity, he shares a rare journey into a private Iran often at odds with its conservative clerics and leaders.

Length: 114 minutes

Item#: BVL203081

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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