By Fatameh Khezri

Doc depicts final three days of General Soleimani’s life

January 3, 2023 - 18:55

TEHRAN- “72 Hours” is a documentary about the last three days of General Qassem Soleimani’s life, directed by Mustafa Shoghi and produced by Mahdi Motahar in 2021. 

Given that General Soleimani visited Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq in the three days before his martyrdom, this documentary was also made in those three nations in addition to Iran. Additionally, many of the interviewees in this documentary share for the first time brand-new stories of his final 72 hours. The following is an interview with Shoghi. 

How did the idea for the "72 Hours" documentary come to you?

At a gathering following General Soleimani's martyrdom, Ehsan Muhammad Hasani, the head of the Owj Arts and Media Organization, told us an interesting story about the last three days of Haj Qassem's life. I knew straight away that this narrative might make a fantastic documentary, and I suggested that it be made immediately.
 From the beginning of the interviews to the documentary’s release, how long did the production process take?

It took two years, and during that time we made more than ten trips to Lebanon and Syria to speak with every person General Soleimani had contact with in the final three days of his life. Over 70 interviews were conducted in all, and only 19 of them were featured in the documentary's finished product.

One of the main issues we faced in the process was that most of the individuals that interacted with General Soleimani were in high positions and we were unable to reveal their names or even their faces because of their strict security.

 So, were these security protocols the main challenges you encountered?

No, it was not. Our main difficulty was how challenging it grew as we moved closer to narrating General Soleimani's martyrdom. One of the most problematic aspects was how we had to describe the moments when men who were close to General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi arrived at the scene of the incident.

 Which of the accounts from the people you interviewed did you find to be more interesting?

The truth is that new information was discovered while producing this documentary. One of these noteworthy discoveries concerned General Soleimani's strategy for handling Iraqi protests in 2019. This documentary features scenes that demonstrate his brilliant strategy when he said that Iraqi protesters should feel like they had met the demands of their government and should leave the field victorious.

I also want to stress the fact that Qassem Soleimani was a man of action. He may have encountered the toughest obstacles, but he never gave up. In my documentary, I learn about a General who was unique in every way, and whose martyrdom and loss did a lot of harm to us.

Has the documentary been screened in countries other than Iran? What was the outcome of the exhibition?

It has been shown in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan, as well as on Al Mayadeen TV. It had such an unusual and intriguing outcome that an Israeli newspaper wrote about it, along with margins and tales.

 What were the feedbacks in our own country?

Since this work was the most significant of all the ones I've done in my career, I'm quite thankful that it was a success. The documentary had some issues with public broadcasting on TV, so we built a website to broadcast it exclusively, and within a short amount of time, 600 000 people had seen it through this website alone.

 Has the documentary been made available in other languages?

Yes, both English and Urdu translations exist.

 How much potential does General Soleimani's character have for artistic development on a local and global scale?

A lot! He knew how to handle issues with authority and empathy because of the diversity of things he had done throughout his life. The majority of people regardless of their intellectual preferences or lifestyles agree that Qassem Soleimani was a hero since he solved problems in numerous crises just to improve people's lives. 

Another point is his type of international activity. In addition to being a brave military commander, he was a brilliant diplomat and negotiator in the region. He genuinely served as a bridge between political groups, and he is widely regarded as a notable person.

Leave a Comment