A rare film that will be screened by the Fundy Film Society this week has a Wolfville native involved.
Our Man in Tehran, a Drew Taylor-Larry Weinstein documentary, had Fraser Ash as supervising producer.
Ash, who works for Rhombus Media in Toronto, will introduce the film on Jan. 29 and offer a question and answer period post screening.
Ben Affleck’s Argo focused on entertainment, but is based on a true story. This documentary is about the lives on the line as Canada’s then-ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor, personally sheltered six American diplomats during the 1979 hostage crisis. Awarded a US Congressional Gold Medal and named an Officer of the Order of Canada, Taylor is a real-life hero.
In the operation now known as ‘the Canadian Caper’, lives were on the line. Gripping and informative, Our Man in Tehran is stripped of all Hollywood embellishments.
Flora MacDonald, former Canadian Minister for External Affairs, commented on Taylor sheltering the hostages.
“It wasn’t the kind of thing you did. You didn’t falsify passports. It just struck me as being wrong, but at the same time, you had the possibility of saving people’s lives.”
In an interview from Toronto, award-winning co-director Larry Weinstein called the film a departure for him, but said it “had something in common with some of the music films that I've made in the past - political, historical films, with plenty of first-hand testimonies and archival footage. This concept just seemed more immediate, revolved around events that were within my own memory span and was markedly Canadian, despite its highly international resonance.”
Our Man in Tehran offers new information about the events in Iran. Weinstein says, “like so much of the story, it was ground-breaking.”
He agrees with former Prime Minister Joe Clark that the truth is a far more compelling story.
Ash says the focus could have just been on the six houseguests, but so many of the side stories were fascinating.
“The Iranian hostage crisis is a complicated and delicate topic – chock-full of conflict surrounding religion, human rights, diplomatic law, political agenda, and morality,” said co-producer Drew Taylor. “We wanted to capture the severity of the situation and endeavoured to focus on interview subjects who were on the ground in Tehran and heavily invested in the welfare of the hostages.”
For the past four years, Ash has been working as a producer at Rhombus Media. The production company does feature films, performing arts, TV series and documentaries.
The Jan 29 screening is at 7 p.m. in the Al Whittle Theatre, Wolfville. Tickets are $8 and they go on sale 30 minutes before each screening.