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Iran Picks New Battle against Islamic State with State-Commissioned Film

At a dusty compound in Robat Karim, a town just outside Tehran, a thickly-bearded commander in military fatigues gives a rousing speech in Arabic to a group of armed young men ready for martyrdom. The black flag of the Islamic State (Isis) flutters in the background.

Suddenly, from among a crowd of onlookers, a man yells in Farsi: “Cut! If you say it right once, it’s a wrap. If not, we’ll be re-doing this a hundred times!”

This is the set of Songs of My Homeland, a film commissioned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and set for release in the coming weeks. IRIB is touting the film as a groundbreaking counter to Isis propaganda…

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