Art and Experience:

The crew of “2888” paid tribute to the fighter pilots of the Air Force of the Iranian Army for the valor they showed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war at the premiere of the war drama at the Fajr Film Festival on Tuesday.

The film is about Operation Baghdad, which was carried out over the Iraqi capital by pilots Abbas Doran and Mahmud Eskandari on July 21, 1982. The operation conducted with two McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter jets was intended to challenge the security of Baghdad, which was scheduled to host a summit conference of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The fighter-bombers were hit after they locked on to their targets during the operation. Doran crashed into an area near the Al-Rasheed Hotel, while Eskandari managed to land his plane in Iran.

A group of retired pilots of Iran’s Air Force also attended the premiere of the film, which was followed by a press conference at the Milad Tower.

During a press conference, producer Ali Owji asked journalists and the audience to give 30-second standing applause to the veterans.

“We should never forget that we owe them a lot for the peace we live in,” he said and hoped that the film has depicted their valor well.

“During the war, 265 pilots were martyred, 184 are missing in action, and 57 were held captive for years in Iraq. And now, we have the honor of having some of the veterans here,” he added.

Addressing the audience, writer and co-director Keivan Alimohammadi said with an emotion-filled voice, “I wish you were here to see the faces of these heroes; I hope we have been able to present our love for these people in the film. It’s difficult to speak before these heroes who are in attendance at this session.”

Due to the depth of his emotions, Alimohammadi burst into tears and left the press conference.

“After this film, we all are not the same people we were before,” Owji said. “We experience strong emotions from seeing these war heroes who sacrificed themselves to assure peace and security for us all.”

Turaj Aslani, who worked on the project as a director of photography, explained that no archive footage was used for the film and all flight scenes were shot live.

The film crew then posed with the war veterans for photos at the end of the press conference.

Source: Tehrantimes