An EA correspondent in Iran gives their impressions of moderate Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani’s campaign biopic, The Spring Which Is Behind The Winter.

The correspondent writes:

This is a professional documentary. First of all, the filmmakers are professionals: Hussain Dehbashi who is a political documentarist and makes documentaries both in Iran and US, Hesamuddin Ashna who has a PhD in Media Studies and is the son-in-law of Ayatollah Dorri Najaf Abadi, Sayed Mohammad Beheshti, Deputy Minister of Cinema in the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance during Khatami’s presidency, and Hujatul Islam Mohammad Ali Zam, the former Head of Art at the Islamic Propaganda Organization (Howzeh Honari-e- Sazmane Tabliqate Islami).

Second, this documentary has very good features; it has been edited perfectly, has a good choice of music and other effects. For example one of the interesting things is the combination of Rohani’s photos from his childhood to the present day.

Thirdly, the scenes are strong. The documentary starts with a young poet reciting his poem in Rohani’s recent meeting in Jamaran. The poet talks about having hope for the future and introduces Rohani as the “spring which is behind the winter”.

This then becomes the title of the documentary.

Next, we cut to a flashback of February 1980 (1 year after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the first Presidential election). People ask the question about what the characteristics of a President should be. Maybe this documentary is trying to say that this question still hasn’t been answered.

The documentary tries to introduce Rohani’s credentials and his activities, before and after the Islamic Revolution, from other people’s perspectives and from documents. The aim is to show that he can’t be compared to other candidates.

For example, at 5:10 the documentary shows the SAVAK report on Rohani’s political activities and at 6:30 we see Rohani’s speech in which he said that the best title for Ayatollah Khomeini is Imam Khomeini. We learn that it was from then on, this title was used for Khomeini.

Another example is Rouhani’s role in Parliament and the Iran-Iraq as the deputy of Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The documentary also makes use of the Supreme Leader’s speech approving Rouhani’s foreign policies on the nuclear issue and describing it as a wise and clever policy, as well as speeches by Rafsanjani, Khatami, Turkan and Salehi in which they all appreciated the foreign diplomacy during Rohani’s tenure as nuclear negotiator.

The documentary even takes advantage of [Presidential candidate Ali Akbar] Velayati’s campaign to boost Rohani (see 16:40). We see Velayati saying that there was a time when the leaders of Western countries would come to negotiate with us but now the level of those sent to negotiate has dropped — i.e now it’s just experts or representatives who are sent to participate in negotiations.

The documentary also tries to introduce Rouhani as the representative of Rafsanjani and Khatami.

Another two important points are Rouhani’s emphasis on the importance of the role of women in the society and his constant emphasis on his aim to distance the country from war, sanctions and economic problems.