Stronger than a Bullet
Narrator and central figure Saeid Sadeghi was a war photographer during the Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988). His heroic photos, which compellingly illustrate his testimony in the film, were—and still are today—an important tool of government propaganda. As a firm supporter of the Iranian Revolution at the time, he photographed soldiers singing on their way to the front, and he was quite prepared to give his own life. But now he is tormented every night by nightmares of dying comrades pleading for help. Remorsefully, mostly in voice-over, he contemplates his shared responsibility for the deaths of countless soldiers, many of whom were very young. Interspersed with archive footage, this stylishly-composed portrait is also an essay on ideology, propaganda and the power of the image. Only at the end of the war did the scales fall from Sadeghi’s eyes. He traverses landscapes filled with silent witnesses in search of people he photographed at the time, hoping to meet a few of those who survived.
Nima Sarvestani for Nima Film
Emelie Persson for SVT
Doha Film Institute, ARTE France