Coup 53

World premiere wins

international praise

Winchcombe Film Society was one of only 20 venues in England to participate in the world premiere of Coup 53, an ‘explosive’ documentary about the CIA and MI6 overthrowing democracy in Iran in 1953.

Previewed at the Toronto Film Festival last year, the documentary was released in the UK, US, Canada and Ireland on Wednesday 19 August.

Due to an archive licensing issue, the film has now been withdrawn from public screenings and any pre-orders will be de-activated from midnight on tuesday 15 September. If this affects you, please email

The documentary features Ralph Fiennes who plays the part of a real-life British spy and was followed by a live Q&A with the actor, editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient), and UK-based director Taghi Amirani.

Immediately after the premiere, the film was positively reviewed by The Guardian, New York Times, and reassessed more cautiously in an extended piece by Simon Heffer in The Daily Telegraph. Click on the titles to read the articles. It was also the subject of features on Channel 4 and CNN.

At least 23 members bought tickets for the film, which with partners means probably well over 30 watched it, eliciting WFS’s greatest-ever number of comments. These, including one from Jean C, who once lunched with the editor’s wife, included ‘gripping’, ‘fascinating insight’, ‘shocking’, ‘fascinating and sobering’, ‘very pleased to have watched it’, ‘significant’, ‘poignant’, ‘I was glued’.

‘An amazing construction of many, many facts – most of which I knew nothing of, and not a few of which shocked me – riveting.’ ‘A revelation .. thoroughly recommended.’ ‘What an eye-opener. We’ve managed to interfere in just about every trouble-spot on the planet.’


  1. Thanks Colin, that looks interesting. We are away next week, how long does the film remain available to start watching it?

    Derek Smith 3 Harvest View Evesham Road Greet Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL54 5FA 07803 600418


    1. Hi Derek,

      The film is available only for 24 hours from 6pm on Wed 19 August, then for 24 hours from the time you first log on.

      Best wishes, Colin


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