Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Holocaust drama on Iranian state TV

So the most popular show on Iranian TV right now is called 'Zero Degree Turn' a drama about the Holocaust. It shows Jews being dragged off to the concentration camps by the Nazis and the hero is a Palestinian Iranian who sneaks Jewish refugees out of Europe. In order to appear on state TV the program had to be approved by Iranian religious authorities.

The show, the most expensive production in Iranian history, has drawn an avid audience of Iranians riveted by the plight of its characters.
"Once, I wept when I learned through the film what a dreadful destiny the small nation had during the World War, in the heart of so-called civilized Europe," said Mahboubeh Rahamati, a Teheran bank teller.
Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel. The program was made with their active cooperation.

Since the story of this TV show appeared in AP and Wall Street Journal articles the right wing blogosphere has jumped on an untranslated story in the German magazine Spiegel claiming the program is actually anti-Semitic or at least anti-Zionist and actually blames the Holocaust on Zionists who wanted to force European Jews to re-settle in Palestine. The International Herald Tribune reports that although some Iranian hardliners have certainly put this interpretation on the show it does not seem to have appeared overtly in its story-lines as of yet.

So far at least the biggest objection of the 'bomb Iran' crowd may be that the show doesn't fit the narrative of genocidal Nazi Iran.

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