Art and Experience: Iranian filmmaker Babak Minai is making a documentary about Black January, a violent crackdown in Baku in January 1990 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

“The idea to make a film entered my mind last year when I heard about the tragedy on a trip to the Azerbaijani capital of Baku,” Minai told the Persian service of Tasnim on Tuesday.

On January 20, 1990, 150 unarmed civilians, including women and children, participating in a peaceful demonstration were killed by Soviet troops under orders from Mikhail Gorbachev.

In the documentary entitled “Black January”, Minai will make a comparison between Black January and Tehran’s Black Friday on September 8, 1978, during which dozens of people were killed in a demonstration against Iran’s last monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

He has made several trips to Azerbaijan over the past year to gather information about the tragedy and also to meet some of the survivors of the incident.

“Black January” is scheduled to be screened at the 11th Cinema Verite, Iran’s major international festival for documentary cinema, in December.

It will be also be broadcast on Ofoq, IRIB’s channel for documentary films.

Among Minai’s credits are “Sheikh Reza”, “Mr. Seyyed Mehdi” and “Haj Marzuq”.

Source: Tehran Times