A Dying King is a new documentary that chronicles the final 18 months of the life of Mohamad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.
The deposed king left Iran with his family in January 1979. The Shah found refuge in numerous countries, including Mexico, Panama, and Egypt. The U.S. decision to grant the Shah entry for medical treatment precipitated a geopolitical crisis. Iranian students stormed the American embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, taking hostage 52 American citizens and diplomats. Iran, then led by Ayatollah Khomeini, held the hostages for 444 days. The Shah’s July 1980 death was attributed to lymphoma.
A Dying King treats the Shah’s final days as a medical drama, full of intrigue and secrecy. The film asserts that medical malpractice, motivated in part by racist and imperialist attitudes towards the Shah’s medical care, had more to do with his death than cancer.
We’ll discuss the medical and political decisions within those events with Bobak Kalhor, director of A Dying King, and historian Mateo Farzeneh, associate professor of history and inaugural principal of The Mossadegh Initiative at Northeastern Illinois University-Chicago. He’s author of the book, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Clerical Leadership of Khurasani.
Chicago Premiere of “A Dying King” takes place on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 3pm and Monday, February 19, 2018 at 2pm at Northeastern Illinois University’s Recital Hall