Iran: The Third Path from Empire to Ruin to Empire

Iran: The Third Path from Empire to Ruin to Empire

About the Production

Iran news continues to fill media coverage of the Middle East and Asia, but mainstream journalism fails to provide audiences with evidence behind headlines that spin the history and culture of Iran into the day’s political agenda. In these international information wars, it is nearly impossible for people to fully grasp the events unfolding by the day. Archival Institute brings historical accuracy and in-depth research into the social and geopolitical struggles inside Iran and the international community today; why did President Trump withdraw from the nuclear deal, why are democrats and the media focused on saving the Iran deal, and are Iranians supporting Trump.

IN 1979, THE CHOICE WAS CLEAR. NO TO THE EAST , i.e. THE SOVIET UNION, NO TO THE WEST, i.e. THE UNITED STATES, AND LET’S CHOOSE THIS THIRD PATH.

Alex Vatanka
Middle East Institute, Washington, DC

During filming, we stipulated a universal rule that applied to each interview subject including historians, sociologists, and even religious scholars and numerous Iranians living inside Iran and out as well as thought leaders across important fields such as law and human rights and military and intelligence. The rule demanded that our telling of history should be as valid in a hundred years time as it is today in the accuracy of accounting for the events of Iran’s modern and contemporary history no matter who is in power where in the immediate future. In other words, we have done our best to dodge trendy and fashionable arguments that only apply to today’s geopolitics.

 

“YOU REALLY NEED A DOCUMENTARY, REALLY LONG DOCUMENTARY TO GET INTO THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE COUNTRY”

Dr. Ervand Abrahamian
Baruch College, New York

For that we thank all of the contributors and our postproduction team for bravely holding to this vision and providing clarity in times of political chaos and fog. We are rewarded by the reviews we have received for the series, though the media have forcibly removed from the internet all press releases posted about this production. We also appreciate your support as we continue to provide ongoing coverage of history, culture, and current events pertaining to the Middle East, Asia, and Africa as the regions currently undergoing the most conflict as well as economic and cultural change in the world.

Customer Review

“AS FOR THE DOCUMENTARY, I MUST SAY I WAS IMPRESSED. THE PRODUCTION QUALITY IS EXCELLENT AND THE SCHOLARSHIP IS SOLID. THE ARCHIVE FOOTAGE IS ALSO GREAT, MANY PARTS OF WHICH I HADN’T SEEN BEFORE. OVERALL, ITS A SUPERB DOCUMENTARY, AND I’M EAGERLY AWAITING THE UPCOMING EPISODES.”

Mohammad Ashkanani, Kuwait

For Viewers inside the US

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Iran: The Third Path on Amazon Prime
Arash

September 18, 2018

Format: Prime Video

For Viewers outside the US

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Iran: The Third Path Purchase on vimeo on demand

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Featuring Contemporary Art and Photography
by Azadeh Akhlaghi, By an Eye Witness Series

Sunrise of Justice

Episode One: Sunrise of Justice

The brutal punishment of an elderly merchant awakens constitutionalists to rise up and change the fate of Iran irrevocably.

Iran: The Third Path Ep 2

Episode Two: Wars, Coups, Thieves, and a Bean

An American mission threatens foreign powers in Iran until world war and famine defile the region, and tribes confront a powerful new ruler.

Iran: The Third Path Ep. 3

Episode Three: In the Shackles of Life

Society undergoes civilizing reforms amidst the curious cases of missing dogs, deputies, and communists.

What does the third path mean?

About Season One: From Empire to Ruin to Empire

Season One begins during the protests that broke out in Persia in 1905 pulling in revolutionaries from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, the Ottoman Empire, and the Caucasus that became known as Mashruteh, loosely translated, Constitutional Movement.

 

These events transformed both the direction of the country and region permanently with the establishment of grassroots democratic cultures including the women’s movement as well as firmly seeding the development of political Islam in Iran. Unpacking these complexities takes viewers back to time of Cyrus when Ancient Persia ruled vast territories including Babylon and Egypt through its times spent in ruin and revival as the first Shia Islamic state in 1501 splitting the very foundations of the Iranian people with ideological differences. Yet, by the mid 1800s, Persia found itself once again economically and militarily weak and inferior to the countries surrounding it and operating within it.  

Visuals from FX

Through the influences of 19th century western modernization, education, and industrialization from superpowers and over the transformative events of world war one and world war two, Persia changed its name to Iran in the throws of building a new empire out the ashes of the Qajar dynasty to the powerful kings and queens of the Pahlavi monarchy. Yet the journey for Iran’s pillars of society including the bazaaris, clergy, landed elite, intelligentsia, and aristocracy and for the many tribes and religious minorities, the path to freedom has been turbulent with internal strife from opposing factions and instability, and external pressures from regional and western powers.

 

This journey is the backdrop for not only today’s geopolitical struggles between the Islamic Republic and western allies, but also Iran’s internal oppression and dissent. From these great pressures however, has come a rich and innovative culture expressing itself in many forms of communication including the arts and technology and social organization focused on achieving freedom.

Scenes from Animation

Watch the Title Sequence

Discover Why Iranians Want Regime Change: Explore the Social Movement Confronting the Islamic Republic Today

Watch Extras from the Iran Project

Pre-Purchase Season Two

Iran: The Third Path Ep. 4

Episode Four

Iran: The Third Path Ep. 5

Episode Five

Iran: The Third Path Ep. 6

Episode Six

Pre-Purchase Season Three

Iran: The Third Path Ep. 7

Episode Seven

Iran: The Third Path Ep. 8

Episode Eight

Iran: The Third Path Ep. 9

Episode Nine

Explore Persian Voices from the Modern History of Iran

Tired of celebrity news anchors who don't know geography?

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Learn about the history that lead to today's conflicts from university scholars, experienced experts, and award winning thought leaders.