The Men Who Killed the Stars

On the Thursday 1st of February 1979 for the vast majority of Iranians everything changed.

A Shah was deposed, and an Ayatollah installed.

We discuss three generations, three perspectives of life under the same revolution. 

One generation fought it, one lived to defend it and one that was now rebelling against it. 

For a policeman grandfather only his employer had changed, for his son it became a time to prove himself as a solider loyal to the new regime; yet it is what happened to the granddaughter growing up in the midst of all this whose tale we now tell.  

Truth is never an immovable absolute.  We know that two plus two can just as easily equal five as it can be four.  We also know and accept that photographs can tell lies.  People shown in group shots can be declared to have never existed, that such imagery can be heretical lies, that the mere possession of such can easily make the owner declared an enemy of the state. 

The photograph that became the key catalyst to this story was hidden both lost and forgotten for decades in a drawer.  A smiling happy woman in a white mini dress with bright orange flowers started the process, a young woman looking into the loving eyes of an equally happy young man.  One was her grandmother, the other her retired secret policeman grandfather.  Just as with Stalinist Russia so was it too in modern Iran.  This was the wrong image, a banned image, an image that could never have been.  

Questions were asked, decisions queried and a young life put very much at risk. 

Astar was that inquisitive young woman, and this is the tale of her finding that photograph, the questions that she asked and what happened afterwards…