Al Jazeera’s Empire, with Marwan Bishara. The first short documentary is so bad that it could have been made by the BBC or CNN. Flynt Leverett is insightful as usual, but as much as I love and respect Hamid Dabashi, I think he adds little of value to the discussion.
Whatever the outcome of the recent troubles, Iran sees itself as a natural leader in the region. It is determined to follow an independent foreign policy, and regards the nuclear question as a matter of national pride, and nobody elses business. With war raging all around it, we ask: is Iran a regional influence, or an international threat?
Empire examines a country torn between traditional values and modernity, between its imperial past and its relations with the region, between its universal pretentions and its moderate means, between its highly educated and globalised urban youth and its more conservative hinterland.