The Secret Fatwa


In 1988, the Islamic Republic of Iran suddenly locked down its prisons, where thousands of political prisoners were serving their sentences. Five months later, the prison authorities summoned the prisoner families and gave each one a bag: "Your prisoner was executed." No explanation, no last will, no body, no burial location. To this day, no official has assumed responsibility. To this day, talking about it is a taboo in Iran. But now survivors and family members are finally speaking out.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Delnaz Abadi (writer/director/producer/editor) was born in Tehran, Iran. She was a first-year college student when the 1979 revolution toppled the dictatorial regime of the Shah of Iran. Like most youth of her generation, she was intrigued by the revolution and participated in it with high hopes. But the regime that replaced the Shah turned out to be a much harsher dictatorship: an Islamic theocracy. When two years after the revolution the Islamic regime launched a reign of terror to decimate all opposition groups, Delnaz, who was still politically active, fled Iran and sought political asylum in the United States.

Delnaz has a M.S in computer science from UC Berkeley and has worked in the industry for 15 years. Struggling with the memories of her disappeared contemporaries and the continued repression in Iran, she began studying filmmaking in 2004 in order to tell the many tragic stories of Iran's failed revolution. The Secret Fatwa is her first feature-length documentary.

Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): Farsi, English Subtitles
  • Year: 2014
  • Running time: 60 minutes
  • Director(s): Delnaz Abadi
  • Producer(s): Delnaz Abadi
  • Writer(s): Delnaz Abadi
  • Cinematographer(s): Rachel Mercy Simpson
  • Editor(s): Delnaz Abadi
  • Music: Gunnard Doboze
  • Website:

FSP 1360