Iranian artists have produced a video celebrating the first 100 days in office for their new president, Hassan Rouhani, which bears a striking resemblance to the 2008 video “Yes We Can” praising then-candidate Barack Obama.
The similarities to will.i.am’s “Yes We Can” include filming in black and white, the framing of the artists facing front and positioned at studio microphones, quotes from famous speeches comprising the lyrics and the use of Rouhani’s image along with singers in a visual collage. Even the musical open of the video is almost identical to the pro-Obama video, using guitars strumming to the same rhythm and at the same tempo.
Check out the similar visual design of the videos:
The Iranian video incorporated clips from Rouhani speeches which were then echoed by the singers, just like in the pro-Obama video, which featured Hollywood stars including actress Scarlett Johansson.
Rouhani liked the new video so much he tweeted about it in Farsi no less than four times, Israel’s Maariv reported. Golnaz Esfandiari noted at Radio Free Europe that Rouhani posted the video on his website.
Maariv reported that the quotes chosen were from Rouhani’s inauguration speech. Other quotes recorded in the clip were from senior Iranian military officials as well as historical figures including Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and Ayatollah Mohammed Beheshti, an architect of the Islamic Revolution.
Unlike the plunging necklines seen in the pro-Obama video, women in the Iranian video were completely covered with hijab and loose clothing in keeping with the Islamic Republic’s norms. Like in the 2008 American video, the Iranian video included a woman translating the quote into sign language.
Reflecting an effort to reach out to minority groups, besides Farsi, other languages used in the video were Baluchi, Kurdish, Turkish and Arabic.
Radio Free Europe translated a segment of the video, which included the quote: "Let space and opportunity be given to all Iranians who are devoted to this land. Let those who are competent serve the nation. Let their hearts be cleansed from hatred. Let reconciliation replace anger and friendship replace enmity."
The video was created by Iranian filmmaker Hossein Dehbashi and features actor-singer Amir Hossein Modaress, according to Radio Free Europe.
The filmmaker, who used to live in Maryland, was arrested and charged in 2010 with submitting a document “he knew to be false” written purportedly by a U.N. official in support on his immigration application.
Check out both videos to see the similarities: