Here you will find a selection of the reviews of my work in the national and international press.

Film Reviews

“We Are Many” – Producer/Director

Screen Daily / International – “It is a powerful and at times moving tribute to organised dissent and the power of the people… It is admirably watchable and provocative… Amirani is to be congratulated for this passionate and provocative film

Hollywood Reporter“An all star cast of artists, activists and politicians remember the mass global protests against the Iraq War in this polished documentary

Tim Robbins This is the most important film of 2015.”

Stephen Fry ‏“Was it really 12 years ago? I’m not sure trailer has ever made me want to see a film more.”

Huffington Post ★★★★★The only film I’ve ever watched where the audience started clapping halfway through”

Daily Mirror ★★★★
“shows the spirit of revolt is still very much alive”

Daily Mail ★★★★immensely powerful”, “brilliant”

Daily Express ★★★★the anger, excitement and hope of that day is brilliantly captured in We Are Many, an emotional and often stirring documentary”

Financial Times ★★★★A sturdy documentary” ★★★★★ “The most thrilling, vital and rousing film of the year.”

Daily Star ★★★★engrossing documentary”

Spectator powerful account of the epic failure of public opinion”

The Herald  ★★★★ piercing documentary… a righteously angry film”

Radio Times ★★★★Rousing and moving, it’s a film that should be seen by the many”

Variety Consistently intelligent and nuanced” 

Timewatch, BBC2 “Concorde  – A Love Story” 2003

“This charming elegy marks the retirement of the world’s only supersonic passenger jet.” Daily Telegraph

“BBC2’s Concorde – A Love Story discharged its task very well. In tracing Concorde’s 40-year history, last night’s documentary certainly demonstrated the truth of its subtitle. And yet, this admiration was also accompanied by more hard-headed judgments. Timewatch kept up this deft and revealing dual perspective for the whole programme.”   The Daily Telegraph

“A gripping film about a sensational plane.” The Time

“Concorde – A Love Story has the visuals to underline the sheer beauty of the doomed supersonic aircraft. This is a suitable and affectionate obituary for the amazing aircraft. Admirably, this doesn’t shirk some of the more awkward facts about Concorde.”  The Financial Times

“…All this came sharply into focus during Concorde – A Love Story. It was indeed a love story. The designers, engineers and pilots who created and flew Concorde all clearly adored their beautiful plane. Except that there was this other story rumbling away in the background to our tragic tale of lost love…” The Times

“Amirani’s film does an excellent job of conveying the facts, but there is another, more subtle strand that runs throughout – a lingering sense of regret over the death of something so elegant.” Time Out

“Concorde was given a splendid send off last night by Timewatch, which presented its 30-year career as a long running romance.” The Daily Mail

“Concorde – A Love Story marked the end of Concorde’s service with a brief history of the plane from drawing board to redundancy, and it was a programme that gave full expression to the sentiment it has always aroused. Otherwise rational engineers talked of their “love” for the plane, enthusiasts got all choked up as they contemplated its imminent retirement.” The Independent

“…Thus begins this paean to an engineering marvel. But it’s not all flattery…”  Sunday Telegraph

“This fascinating documentary provides an insight into the design and development of what has become the most recognizable passenger plane in the world.” Sunday Express

“For an insight into all things British, you were better off with Concorde – A Love Story. Here was a tale of gumption, ingenuity and resolve; of parochialism, pettiness and calamitous fiscal ineptitude.” The Mail on Sunday

“The documentary oozed nostalgia and sadness. It made you feel great to be British.”  Daily Express

 “The way those involved spoke about it, you couldn’t help but feel a pang for the plane. Couples told of spending their savings on tickets.” The Guardian

“The sheer scale of this folie de grandeur is marvellous – as Amirani’s film outlines tellingly.  Radio Times

Arena  BBC2 “And The Winner Is….”  2001

“Arena doing what it does best. Exploring a cultural phenomenon with an intelligent, multi-layered film essay.” The Sunday Times

“… deeply entertaining…” The Observer Review

“A wide ranging, clever and thoughtful antidote to the BAFTAs. Amirani’s documentary took a pleasingly fragmentary approach…Amirani gave us several neat moments…” The Daily Express

“A disarming documentary on the cult of awards ceremonies.” Time Out

“A gratifyingly irreverent look at a multi-million dollar industry.” The Times

“Another excellent Arena explores the world of awards ceremonies…”  Daily Telegraph

“A timely and quirky look at the world of awards….” The Daily Express

Three Minute Wonders Channel 4,  “This Time Next Year”  2004

“Of course, three minute films are never going to be massively consequential. Yet, they can be charming, lovingly made, and mildly thought provoking. This Time Next Year is succeeding on all three counts.”

James Walton The Daily Telegraph

Correspondent BBC2 “Addicted to Arms”  2002

“Will Self’s investigation into Britain’s addiction to selling arms was shocking, witty and worrying. Self was like the nation’s conscience as sketched by Edward Gorey. This was vital, important television”. The Guardian

“Will Self and producer/director Amirani use numerous devices to get round the weasel words and stalling tactics of the arms manufacturers and their mouthpieces. Simultaneously amusing and anger-inducing – and don’t switch over as the credits roll!” Time Out

“Self is a compelling guide”. Independent on Sunday

“It won’t make especially easy viewing for the government.” The Daily Telegraph

Correspondent BBC2 “Letter to America”  2001

“This uncomfortable onslaught on the US was far and away the most important programme of the weekend. I’d like it to be shown both in the US and by Al-Jazeera” The Daily Mail

“While maintaining the foreign affairs strand’s high standards, this week’s Correspondent strays from the usual single issue template…tonight’s programme will be instructive viewing. The images in “Letter to America” are also a break from the norm. There’s extraordinary footage of a spontaneous candle-lit vigil in Tehran to show sympathy for the victims of September 11.”  Time Out

Black Britain BBC2 “Bands Apart”  2000

“One of the most breathtakingly revealing moments in an excellent documentary…” Time Out

“A wonderful essay on the radio station, an academically well-researched and sympathetic portrayal of the limitations forced on blacks at the height of apartheid……Pine’s thesis is best viewed through his interview with Jack Lerole; Lerole’s predicament forms the backbone of a glorious documentary.” The Observer Review

“Fortunately, history was treated with rather more care by Bands Apart…Pine allowed the white people who’d run Radio Bantu to put their case. He did everything you’d want, in fact.” Daily Telegraph

“A fascinating Black Britain special….a story dripping with bitter ironies. In a curious but nonetheless riveting interview, Pine talks to the formidable Dr. Yvonne Huskisson…” Daily Telegraph

“Amirani’s film is revealing, entertaining and provocative….” Daily Mail

Picture This  BBC2 “Hallelujah Hendrix”  1999

“A beautifully crafted Picture This documentary built around the unveiling of a Blue Plaque on Hendrix’s London home….” The Daily Mail

“Amirani’s success lies in evoking Hendrix’s everyday London life…” Time Out

“In the pleasingly eccentric Picture This……” The Guardian

“Picture This is both less dramatic and more intimate….” The Times

“A wryly charming documentary about the erection of a blue plaque at the rock star’s central London flat….” The Telegraph

“More entertainingly, Amirani’s delightful Picture This: Hallelujah Hendrix, follows the process by which an absurdly stuffy English Heritage committee came to erect a blue plaque.” Sunday Times

Radio Reviews

From Tehran With Laughter – BBC Radio 4

“Stand up comedian Omid Djalili presents this gag-packed documentary that does more in 28 minutes to break down ludicrous misconceptions about the Iranian people than a United Nations commission could hope to achieve in a decade. Iranian humour, like its British equivalent, combines awareness of its culture’s unique flaws along with biting political satire at its own, as well as other nations’ ruling parties’ expense. Djalili’s take on the London bombings might not be to everyone’s taste, but his version of the Iranian ambassador giving the US government a taste of its own demanding medicine is a joy to hear – never before have lorry loads of pistachio nuts made such a great punch line. This is one of those rare commodities: genuinely entertaining, yet at the same time eye-opening when it comes to racial stereotyping.” Jayne Anderson, Radio Editor, The Radio Times

“This week’s Uncovering Iran programmes on Radio 4…. they’ve all been interesting – but I enjoyed From Tehran with Laughter the most. Presented by Omid Djalili, this was more than just jokes. Djalili hopped deftly between comic turns and social commentary. Comedian Shappi Khorsandi recalled the time she met an American comic. ‘I didn’t know Iranians had humour,’ he said wonderingly. Yes, they do, and this programme showed it with style”. Miranda Sawyer, The Observer

“The most memorable moments have been the glimpses into very ordinary corners of Iranian life – the food eaten, the laughter, the complexities of dating – in place of the extraordinary aspects, which tend to grab headlines. From Tehran With Laughter, presented by Omid Djalili, was very funny and very illuminating”. Elizabeth Mahoney, The Guardian

“From Tehran with Laughter (Radio 4, Sat), part of the network’s Uncovering Iran season, made me think a lot. What Djalili was talking about was the place of humour in Iranian tradition, how everything changed after 1979 and the Islamic revolution, how perceptions of Iranians in the wider world changed after September 11, 2001. He drew on his own experience and that of other young comedians here and in the USA. The essence of Iranian humour, it seems, is ironic, satirical, self-deprecating. The traditional subjects – politics, family life, food, football – are accessible to audiences in other countries. But, if it is hard to maintain the comic tradition in Iran these days, it is just as difficult to get it a hearing in post- 9/11 America. This was a thoughtful, useful programme.” Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph

“Quite the most illuminating programme in the season was last Saturday’s From Tehran with Laughter (Radio 4), in which the cuddly British Iranian stand-up and, more latterly, Hollywood go-to guy when it comes to expendable Middle Eastern character actors, Omid Djalili made the case for not wiping the land of his forefathers off the face of the earth because, well, they enjoy a good laugh as much as the rest of us. Djalili had this listener on toast. His fellow comics came across as both reasonable and funny. So they’ve got satire sussed, and irony and whimsy and also, it appears, sarcasm.” Chris Campling, The Times

Nightingales and Roses  – BBC World Service

Iranian poetry was the subject of Nightingales and Roses (BBC World Service). And here, too, poetry was presented as luxury and necessity. It is awe-inspiring to think of crowds of Iranian people in Isfahan singing, on their way to work, beneath the Bridge of 33 Arches, poetry written 800 years ago. Amir Amirani’s moving programme showed what happens when poetry is in the national bloodstream, when it is a bible, a friend, a self-help book. For Iranians, a volume of verse is often the first possession to be taken into exile, the last you would ever find in a skip.”  Observer, Kate Kellaway, May 2010