OPEN LETTER from Cate Haste to Taghi Amirani and Walter Murch

I shared the small End of Empire: Iran office with Alison Rooper and Mark Anderson, working on the parallel Egypt programme. Had you asked me, I would have told you of the thrill of excitement when Alison secured and then recorded on audio cassette the research interview with MI6 agent, Norman Darbyshire, as he described in detail the British role in the 1953 Iran coup.

Coup 53: “All this skill in service of a lie” by Mick Gold

Coup 53 was worse than I expected. The scene where Amirani talks to Alison Rooper in his office is creepy because it feels like a set-up. Alison however, conducted herself with admirable coolness. I was impressed by the way she remembered immediately that Darbyshire wasn’t filmed. I directed Rhodesia, the final film in the End of Empire series, and if someone tried to question me about interviews we researched for that programme in 1984, I wouldn’t have a clue.

“Coup 53 is a potentially valuable documentary film spoilt by false assertions and fake news” by Mick Csáky

As a documentary maker with a strong interest in revealing the key events behind important moments in modern history, the film Coup 53 makes me more than a little unhappy. However, that said, the film could be redeemed by the removal of several factual errors and especially all the false claims made against Granada’s End of Empire film.