The Christian Science Monitor

Iran's Syria war blockbuster: cinema in the service of politics

The Iranian film “Damascus Time” is an action-packed story of heroes and villains filled, Hollywood-blockbuster-style, with dramatic surprises and explosions.

It’s also loaded with a not-so-subtle political message that steps deeply into Iran’s debate about its military role in Syria.

The movie tells the tale of two pilots with Iranian forces fighting Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists in Syria and “defending” Shiite shrines. Flying a military transport plane out of the besieged city of Palmyra, the pilots take off under fire in a risky, pre-dawn mission to rescue trapped and wounded Syrian civilians – and carry away a handful of ISIS prisoners.

But en route to Damascus, the ISIS prisoners break free and hijack the plane. The

‘Find a solution for us’‘More important than schools’

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