Accuracy and nuance
1979 Revolution: Black Friday is an intriguing video game that attracted our attention as soon as we learned about it. The game is created by Navid Khonsari, an Iranian-Canadian video-game creator and producer. As an Iranian in the diaspora, Khonsari offers a kind of neutrality to the revolutionary narrative in his creation. The game includes photos, video footage, and speeches from archives, and details are carefully put together. As such, this game provides its audience with an aura of accuracy.
The gamer plays the role of Reza shirazi, a young photographer, who gets involved in the revolutionary process and needs to make decisions that according to the producers will determine the faith of himself and those around him. the producers claim that the gamer’s decisions can change the narrative, which is questionable.
But now lets’ get to the point of this post: 1979 Revolution: Black Friday offers a nuanced narrative of the revolutionary process through the introduction of complicated characters, the plurality of ideologies among the revolutionary factions, and presenting the gamer with moral ambiguity of the revolutionary process.
In the above video, the first scene is of the main character in the Evin prison, an actual prison in Tehran where many infamous political prisoners have been held for decades. The interrogator, Assadollah Lajevardi, was a powerful prosecutor after the 1979 Revolution, and a loyal and religious revolutionary man. In the following scene, on the rooftop, Reza is with a friend who is explaining what is taking place in front of them on the streets of Tehran. The conversations that ensue between them and a group of other young revolutionary men, presents a much needed nuance into the revolutionary narrative: There was never one kind of revolutionary aspiration, goal, or rout. The religious groups had multiple ideas about what kind of society they imagined and wished for, so did the leftist groups.
Everyone shared one, and only one, goal: they did not want the status quo. The Shah had to leave. The rest was to be determined after.