tv Lady Valor The Kristin Beck Story CNN July 24, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm PDT
♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ sha la la la la ♪ ♪ sha la la la la la ♪ sha la la la la ♪ sha la la la la la la holy mother of santa muerte, please protect my stash of cocaine. let it not be interfered with by the cops, or the competition. let any who would mess with me be killed. my enemies destroyed. please forgive us our sins, for they are many. so is business good? i mean, are there more murders, particularly narco murders?
>> every day, mexico wakes up to count the dead. they are, after all, left out to be seen. often with a helpful note, identifying who done what and generally speaking, why. there is a language to the never-ending violence, a coded message in the twists and marks of the bodies. and valente rosas is one of many documenting them for the press. this is what he does every
night, rides around waiting for a phone call or a radio message telling him that there's another one. so who's buying drugs? who's selling drugs to who? >> here, you kill each other for a reason. it's business? >> si. >> more mexican civilians have been killed since 2006 than all the american military lost in ten years of the vietnam war and
eight years of wars in iraq. what do you do if you're one of these cops, you're driving around one night, you see some guy outside of a bar beating somebody or disturbing the peace, you start to arrest him and he's got a diamond studded pistol, it's got his name on it. now you realize you've just arrested somebody with serious powerful connections. what do you do? [ speaking foreign language ] >> you let him go? >> si. >> why do they always pull their pants down? our local fixer, alex, is here to translate. >> in this case he thinks that they pull the pants down so check for weapons. >> they're loading him into the sheet. >> this is the csi team, so when they were pulling his pants off, money and jewelry started falling from the pockets. basically, they took the money out his pockets and that was the only available spot. >> to show they didn't take anything. >> yeah, exactly. so this is also a drug dealer. the thing here in mexico, as soon as someone's killed, normally they get candles just right next to them. sometimes it's related to drug dealings and criminals. >> how long have you been doing this? >> about nine years.
>> how many bodies do you think? hundreds? >> si. >> how do you push them out of your mind when you're not working? >> a lot of people ask him about this. but he said like it's a job, not like any other kind of job, but as soon as he gets home, he just takes this cover off and just keep living. >> that's a terrible picture. that's sad. what happened here? >> there was an elephant called gilda. she run away from a circus. so she basically was crossing the highway and was just run over. >> the world we live in now, of all of these pictures, this is the one that would get people most upset?
you'd get the most mail, the most oh, my god, what kind of a world do we live in? >> this was probably the most viewed picture from different media around the world. >> 80,000 mexicans have died in the last seven years in narco violence? >> and this is the most important picture. >> as our crew gets ready to crawl back to our hotel, valente gets the call we thought we had been waiting for. one dead male, shot in head. a note pinned to his chest. in mexico, people fight to live every day. one man stands alone, facing another man. his intent, to beat his opponent with his fists until he can resist no more. a match, yes, but more accurately, a fight.
jorge lasierva is a former bantamweight title holder. with his father, jorge senior, and his son alexis, he trains aspiring fighters in this gym in the santa anita neighborhood of mexico city. he knows these young men, like generations of boxers everywhere from other neighborhoods like this, are looking for a way out. >> in mexico city boxing is kind of like save a life. you know what i mean? boxing they give them a little discipline. >> let's say you're good but you're not that good. can you make a living just being a contender? >> no, but a lot of fighters,
they try to make it. tons of boxers. they want to be a champion. >> everybody wants to be a champion. >> everybody. everybody wants to get to the big shot. but you know, it's just one. >> those are bad odds. the history of boxing is not kind. i mean, most managers and promoters don't really give a -- about the fighters. they use them up but at the end they leave a guy all broken down, no money and scrambled brains. >> we're just like prostitutes. you know what i mean? >> in this area what are your options? if you drop out of high school. >> nothing. it's just like being on the street. snatching, robbing. a lot of kids in the hood will say hey, let's go kidnap that guy. >> big industry. >> everybody here now wants to be a soccer player. or boxing. because they make money here. >> who's got a longer career, a narco or a boxer? >> i don't know. might be 50/50. i mean, narco, you can last longer. >> you can. >> you are protected by the police. you just pay off, nobody's going to touch you. >> expensive protein shakes and
dietary supplements? not so much. boxers here eat what they can afford. >> the food is good and it's cheap. you know, in mexico, there is no middle class. >> you're either poor or you're really, really rich. >> i mean, it's a crazy thing. the minimum wage here is like 50, 60 pesos, which is like five bucks. not an hour, a day. >> but on the other hand, that's why mexican fighters are so exciting. they're hungry. >> exactly. we're hungry. dates. which is why most of this legal copy is just instructions on how to win a free trip! instructions actually written in this legal copy. use your dvr to read them. this is the pre-recorded voice of captain obvious. i am not a ventriloquist. ♪ i ride the highway... son begins to play) ♪ i'm going my way... ♪i leave a story untold...
he just keeps sending more pictures... if you're a free-range chicken, you roam free. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. ♪ two wheels a turnin'... i'm the biggest threat your business will ever face. your size, your reputation mean nothing. because tomorrow, i'll be your competitor. and i was born to disrupt everything you think your business is about. see you soon. the next wave of the internet is bringing the next wave of competition. we're ready. are you? (ee-e-e-oh-mum-oh-weh) (hush my darling...) (don't fear my darling...) (the lion sleeps tonight.)
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checking out the listing on zillyeah, i like it. this place has a great backyard. i can't believe we're finally doing this. all of this... stacey, benjamin... this is daniel. you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen. zillow. topito is a city within a city. its own thing. either the dark center or the beating heart of mexico city,
depending on your point of view. it's the home of santa muerte, the skeletal st. death. this is where they come, the impoverished, the oppressed, the marginalized, the criminal. people for whom the traditional church has less relevancy. for the unforgiven and the unforgiveable. for those on whom the catholic saints have turned their backs, there is santa muerte. this is a place and santa muerte is a saint that accepts everybody. "death to my enemies" written on
a votive candle. let's face it, we've all prayed for that at one point or another. topito is a poor neighborhood for sure, and a tough one. a center of commerce both above-board and not. perhaps a breakfast beverage first. a michelada. one giant beer with lemon, chili powder, salt and magi sauce. that's a sizable morning beverage. my companion, blogger and chronicler of the city, jorge pedro. >> wow. a whole season of the walking dead for 25 cents. >> you want to buy something, topito's got it. looking for some cheap underwear, pirated copies of man versus food seasons one through five? this is where you find them. so this all seems very wholesome. i mean, where could i buy a gun, some heroin and a prostitute?
i was looking forward to that. >> let's say topito has many layers. right? and we are in the surface. >> okay. >> we are among movies, clothing, families. but i don't think it's as easy as to be candid to ask, where can i get a gun? probably they will kill you if you ask that. you know san huditas? the patron saint of hopeless causes. >> oh, lost causes. >> it's become very popular in the last years. >> a lot of good smells here, man. and a lot of good-looking food. my happy place is somewhere in here. oh, there it is. >> yeah.
>> beautiful. wherever there's bones and guts simmering in broth, chances are i'll be happy. writer, sociologist and life-long resident of topito, alphonso hernandez, apparently feels the same way. so this is supposed to be a bad neighborhood? this is the best. i love this neighborhood. [ speaking foreign language ] >> it is known for being the lost souls neighborhood. it is called angeles neighborhood. like angels being there, but in topito there are no angels but lost souls. >> what's the saying? [ speaking foreign language ] >> showing los huevos to death. >> show your balls to the devil? >> to death. >> on the menu, migas. the base comes from boiling cracked ham bones to release the marrow, to which garlic, onion, cascabel peppers and episote is added. thickened with stale bread and leftover tortillas. you got nothing, you make something really awesome out of nothing.
>> the grandmothers have the ability to take advantage of the bones of the pigs. and now it's a gourmet dish. >> any great old culture where there's poverty, there's something like this. by the way, if you're watching this, after you do this you've really got to wash your hands before you touch your -- okay? that's a rookie mistake. >> she's asking you if you like the migas. if you enjoy the meal. >> yeah, it's good. delicious. so these guys have been open 65 years? >> all the members of the crew are relatives. >> is there hope for social change in this country? >> unfortunately, mexico has become the topito of the world. topito, this is still the synthesis of the mexican. >> not a lot of upward mobility here. the rich get richer, the poor get ground slowly under the
wheel. eduardo garcia has hacked his way up the ladder to become chef owner of the city's hottest restaurant. >> i grew up in the states. i was a migrant worker picking fruits and vegetables as a kid. my parents didn't earn a lot of money, so i decided to work rather than go to school. >> the restaurant business as i well know ain't no picnic. and in mexico city, it's particularly rough. >> mexico has a reputation where we all know that the country's run by corrupt politics. you have to stand up for what you believe. if you don't, people will run you over. you won't last a minute. i don't let people bully me around. >> garcia runs maximo bistro with his wife, gabriella. here's the kind of extra helping of crap you've got to deal with if you run the hottest restaurant in mexico city. in 2013 the spoiled daughter of
the head of mexico's consumer protection agency walks in and demands a table when there's, unsurprisingly, no table available. when garcia says sorry, no can do, she pulls a you know who i am and then calls daddy and gets the health inspectors in to shut the place down. so your other customers basically started taking pictures of them with their cell phones? >> next thing you know, we have the media outside and this is friday. >> right. >> sunday morning, we're front page of one of the most important newspapers in mexico. >> well, it was very embarrassing to the government. >> and it should be. >> because they got caught doing what they do all the time. but if you were not the hottest
restaurant in town, you were just running a cantina a few blocks away -- >> i would have been -- >> they would have closed you down and that's that. right now a defiant, young, creative generation of mexican chefs like eduardo are performing some of the most exciting cooking anywhere on earth, a mixing of the very old and traditional with the very new. >> so you worked at la bert hanan. >> as a kid, yes. one of the jokes throughout the whole time that i worked is how old are you? i'm 18. you've been 18 for three years. those are abalone from baja. i told you i love butter. i use it even for some mexican dishes. and then just some roasted chili serrano just to give it a nice little kick for me. >> they're finished with lemon and of course brown butter. >> beautiful. mm. very delicious. very mexican, very french. brown butter, awesome. makes everything better. >> of course. i think the most important thing about mexican cuisine in general if it's traditional, it's the
ingredients. >> confit of suckling pig topped with grandma's salsa. an instant classic. >> have at it. you do it like the mexican way. pick it up and go. >> wow. pretty hard to imagine anything better than that. you're stuck with this dish forever, man. it's going to be like mick jagger 50 years from now singing "satisfaction." there's no getting away from it, man. this is so good. this is a classic. but even now with all his success, garcia is still fighting a struggle most mexicans are all too familiar with. >> what happened that day happens every day. and the promise always is we're going to shut you down, you don't know who i am. and for me, i would rather close my restaurant than live like that. if you close my restaurant, i will go across the street, i will go to another state or i will go to another country, and i still will make a good restaurant. ♪
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absolutely no one can say with any credibility, by the way, that mexico's war or our trillion-dollar war -- >> just say no. >> -- has had any effect in diminishing the flow of drugs into our country. one very brave journalist has uncovered exactly how deep the rot of corruption and dirty money has penetrated into every level of mexican institutions. >> my grandmother is from oaxaca. so how we used to drink the mescal is never with lemon. it's with orange. >> it is not what a lot of people wanted to hear, much less see published. today anabel hernandez, author of the groundbreaking expose "los senores del narco" lives
under guard in a secret location, the threat very, very real and very explicit. >> do you think there was ever a minute when the calderon war on drugs, was it ever genuine? >> no. who really start the war against the cartels was vicente fox. felipe calderon just followed that instruction, but he didn't really do anything new. he just did it worse. since the beginning, the plan of the government was protect the sinaloa cartel and fight against the enemies of the sinaloa cartel. >> of the seven major mexican cartels, the sinaloa cartel is considered the most powerful, with the farthest-reaching and most pervasive tentacles extending deep into every corner of government, banking and private industry. its rivals, the tijuana cartel, the gulf cartel, the juarez cartel, the beltra levya, la
familia michoacana and the particularly murderous los zetas. the cartels are responsible for importing roughly three quarters of all illegal narcotics to america. in your work, you uncovered what had to be some very embarrassing and incriminating associations and connections between very high elected officials, the presidents and entire administrations, and acts of incredible criminality. how did that change your life? >> well, when i start to make this investigation on 2005 and i really understand that it would be very dangerous. i have to say that it wasn't really a surprise for me what happened after i published my book. what i didn't expect is that the threats came from the federal government. >> anabel says that one of her sources warned her that the
biggest threat was from within, that one of the most highly placed, most senior law enforcement officials in mexico had ordered her killed. >> because in my book i put his name and also showed some documents that proves that he was involved, he was in the payroll of the sinaloa cartel. >> what happened to this man? >> right now, he's very happy drinking rum, i think, building many enterprises, fake enterprises, laundry his money. >> to me the weak link are the bankers. a banker who launders money, he's got a family, he's got a reputation, he gives money to charity, his neighbors think he's great. his kids think he's wonderful. he's got something to lose. so i wouldn't be prosecuting drug dealers. i would be prosecuting bankers.
>> the name of my book is "los senores del narco" because los senores del narco are not only chapo de guzman. and the leaders of these cartels. no. los senores del narco are also the politicians and bankers and businessmen. the people have to know who are these people by name. >> you have been a journalist for how long? >> 20. 20 years. >> 20 years. your father was killed, kidnapped and killed in 2000? >> my father was a businessman. in that year many gangs used to kidnap businessmen just for money. so when we went to the police and asked them to investigate, they said well, if you pay us, we will make the investigation. so as family, we decide to pay
because you cannot buy the justice. since that, i really tried to fight against corruption. that's why i'm doing what i do, because i think that corruption is the worst problem in mexico. the drug cartels are maybe the worst face of that problem, but the problem in the deep is the corruption. the corruption is the mother of all our problems in mexico. >> it should be pointed out that 88 journalists, how many journalists have been killed in this country? >> 90. 90 now. >> 90 journalists have now been killed or disappeared over the last few years. >> yeah. >> here you can kill a journalist and get away with it. why are you still here? >> i have lost many things in my life. my father was the most important person in my life. i already lost everything. i don't have any life anymore. i don't have a social life. i don't have a sentimental life. i don't have anything. i just have my work and my family. and my work of a journalist is everything for me.
i really believe that good journalists can change the world. i have received many offers to go outside to france, to sweden and other countries. i don't want to leave. it's my choice. my choice is fight. i know i have an 812 fico score, so i definitely qualify. so what else can you give me? same day delivery. the ottoman? thank you. fico scores are used in 90% of credit decisions. so get your credit swagger on. go to experian.com, become a member of experian credit tracker, and take charge of your score. and take charge of your score. leave early go roam sleep in sleep out star gaze
i came to oaxaca for mescal. i like mescal. more and more these days. and this guy, ron cooper, finds and sells some of the best mescal in the world. we're at the zapatec ruins of monte alban. >> in pre-conquest mexico, there were gods and goddesses of intoxication and ecstasy. the touch of a lover, the smell of a flower, the aha of an idea, all had gods and goddesses that took responsibility for those things. >> all of your mescals come from
different villages and only that village? >> and only one maker in that village. we call our stuff single-village mescal because most mescals are made with a blend of different villages all put together. no one goes home and has a cocktail in these indian villages. they wait until there's a special occasion. ♪ every birth, death, confirmation, baptism, there's a fiesta. a wedding is eight days. you invite 200 people. you feed them breakfast, lunch and dinner. you have a band every day. and then they really consume. don't drink yet. for mother earth and her ancestors. and then you say stijibeo.
>> stijibeo. that's extraordinary. back in the day, it was cheap stuff with a worm in it and there were rumors that if you ate the worm you would start tripping, that there was a hallucinogenic quality to mescal. >> yeah. >> is there a particular kind of high? is this an enlightening high? is this a good high? >> the high is humorous. you have these funny thoughts dancing around the back of your head. >> happy, witty drunk. >> yes. >> in oaxaca ancient indigenous traditions and ingredients define not only the mescal but also the food. >> one of the main reasons people visit our city is to eat. >> this is alejandro ruiz almeido, one of mexico's best
chefs. he started cooking young. when he was 12, his mother died and it fell on him to raise and feed his five siblings. >> this is what we call pasajo. >> today he draws much of his inspiration from oaxaca's central market. probably america's most beloved food is what they think is mexican food. >> yes. >> and i think most americans' view of mexican food is beans, fried tortilla, melted cheese, some chicken. >> yes. >> in fact, in particular when we're talking about oaxaca, this is a deep, really sophisticated cuisine. >> that's correct. oaxaca has these different microclimates all over our territory. and that give us this enormous amount of spices, products, fruit, chilies. >> like 500,000 varieties of
corn. something like that. this is where the good -- grows. >> this is barbacoa. and this lady here is always making the best. >> tender. >> yes. tender, tasty. >> mm, man. greens and crunch. >> cabbage and cilantro. >> oh, unbelievably good. so tasty. >> they'll give us some consomme. >> mm. man. deep. it's good. i'll finish this. this is just too damn good. >> people have this barbecue
especially on sundays. it's a tradition to have barbacoa. >> it's so tasty. >> all this pasillo is full of chilies. people think that mexican food has to be necessarily spicy because of the chilies we use. and we go for flavors, not for the spiciness. >> what most people miss is how really deep and really sophisticated the sauces here can be. like lyon is to france, oaxaca is to mexico, in my experience. >> you're right. also in my experience. >> not kissing your ass here. i was just in lyon. this is vicky's place. she's been cooking up traditional oaxacan dishes in the market for 30 years. >> whoa, that's awesome. cooking an egg right on -- oh, man. so the guy working the camal. first of all, a lot of the camal you see now are metal. that's old school -- super old school. the way they did back in zapotec times. >> yes. correct. >> on the clay camal. >> yes. >> i'm looking over there, he's doing our tortillas. >> yes. >> and he's doing one of my favorite things. the zucchini flowers with the string cheese. that's so pretty to see. >> omero's cooking, his focus, his passion, have very old, very deep roots.
>> my family were farmers. in a small village like mine, since you are 6, 8, 7, you have a role to develop in the family. >> right. >> so my role was to water the chili plantation, the tomato plantation, to milk the cows, and help my mom while she was making tortillas like that. she would give me directions and telling me okay, roll the chilies, roll the tomatoes, i'll tell you how to prepare mocajete salsa. it was the beginning of my profession, learning from the knowledge of how a tomato should taste like when you cut it directly from the plant. >> the way it should taste. >> that's right. >> oh, man. happy. >> this is what you should do. try the egg first like this. >> just grab a hunk. >> yes. >> then put salsa. >> yeah. i haven't been anywhere in mexico where the cooking is better than here. >> this is the way to preserve our culture, through our food.
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the quiet little town of teo titlan del valle is about 15 miles outside of oaxaca. a town where the arts, crafts, and traditions of the pre-hispanic mexico are celebrated and packaged for consumption. abigail mendosa and her sister rafina are zapoteca, original people from mexico before the spanish. before the aztecs. this is her restaurant, where abigail has been grinding corn by hand, making masa and moles like this, the ridiculously
faithful, time-consuming, difficult traditional way she was taught to make these things and the way she's been making them since she was 6 years old. look at her hands, by the way. small, surprisingly delicate, given all the hard work, all the pushing, kneading, grinding, stone against stone over the years. then look at her forearms. the power there. it's impressive and beautiful. >> every time you enter a house in oaxaca, especially the small villages, they always offer you a shot of mescal. >> mm, so good. >> seguesa, a mole and chicken dish. this mole sauce, like a lot of the real old school moles made by masters like abigail, uses 35 different types of chili peppers and takes more than two weeks to make. do you think that until
recently, until guys like you, that mexicans were not looking back at their own food culture, they were looking elsewhere? what was going on? >> we were conquered. we are also a culture that was conquered first by the aztecs and then we were conquered by the spaniards. so we were always told that everything that was good and excellent has to be imported. >> right. >> and what we have here, it was just not good. >> right. another zapotecan classic, chili agua, a simpler dish of cow and pork brains cooked with chilies, tomatoes and yerba santa. >> as a cook, the main thing i learn was to develop a little bit my cuisine here. there was this space where nobody tried to innovate. still using the same techniques, the same ingredients, the same flavors, herbs, et cetera, but developing them a little bit. [ speaking foreign language ] >> i mean, that's as old-school
♪ but even tonight there's plenty of evidence of the struggle, the discontent boiling just under the surface. the graffiti and painting of this street artist who goes by the name yezca captures that spirit of oaxacan protest. ♪ the last supper, for sure. >> it's a last supper but mexican last supper. >> who are these people? >> it's the most powerful people in mexico. people that is driving mexico. this is pena nieto, the president right now. this is felipe calderon, the last president. and that guy is like the economy guy who is moving the economy in mexico. and this is the army. this is a prostitute. represents because they are like prostitutes, you know. you know? >> and not in traffic. so the little guy, he's like the god in mexico, you know? because he is older. >> so this is the way mexico works? >> yes. a problem for mexico is
corruption. >> mexico can be a dangerous place for journalists, for politicians, for police. is it a dangerous place for artists? >> yeah, i think so. if you do not agree with the government, you're like enemy. i) hotels.com. they don't need me right now. how's it progressing with the prisoner? he'll tell us everything he knows very shortly, sir. as you were... where were we? 13 serving 14! service! if your boss stops by, you act like you're working.
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javiera savocka has reason to see evil, too. on march 2011, narcos kidnapped and murdered his son and six other equally blameless nent victims. cecilia marched to mexico city to demand an end to the imcreasingly feudal so-called war on drugs that was mindlessly grinding up so many victims in the cross fire and in the margins. in under the volcano, the evil that's coming is fascism, marxism. what is thehearted of t heart o infernal machine today.
total strangers. the other stuff is there, the iran we've read about, heard about, seen in the news. but this, this i wasn't prepared for. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha, la, la, la, la ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la ♪ ♪ ♪ >> thank you.
had my chance to see a country i'd heard so much about. the weather is nice. i don't know what i was expecting, but it's nice. a big blank spot on nearly every traveler's resume. merci. delicious. thank you. ♪ [ in child's voice ] >> once upon a time there was an ancient kingdom where they found a lot of magical black stuff under the ground. but two other kingdoms had the key to the magical black stuff, and when they wouldn't share, the people of the ancient kingdom got mad. they voted, and their leader said the magical black stuff is ours to keep. but the other kingdoms were afraid of losing all of the
magical black stuff so they gave money to some bad men to get rid of the leader. they put back in power another leader, and they gave him money too. to some he was a good king, but to others he could be very cruel. after many years the people of the kingdom got mad. this time even madder. so they scared the king away forever, and then things started to get really messed up. >> okay. that's a simplistic and incomplete way to sum up the last hundred-odd years of iranian history. but the point is there were a lot of issues and differing agendas leading to the explosion of rage known as the iranian hostage crisis. look, we know what iran, the government, does. george w. bush famously called them part of the axis of evil. their proxies in iraq have done american soldiers real harm. there is no doubt of this. but i hope i can be forgiven for finding these undeniable truths hard to reconcile with how we are treated on the streets
everywhere we go. so forget about the politics if so forget about the politics, if you can, for a moment. how about the food? the food here is amazing. ♪ chelo kabob, as close as you can get to a national dish. and the king of kebabs. ground lamb with spices, a good place to start. so what do you guys do for a living? >> i export nuts. >> i am a curator of contemporary art. >> which is an exploding scene here. >> three different culture, abyssian culture, iranian and islamic culture. >> it has changed a lot during the last decade. so this is the actual marrying. i would recommend you to try this one and this one and this
one. >> okay. >> why not? ♪ >> so a chelo kabob wouldn't be complete without persian rice. fluffy, long grained, perfectly seasoned with saffron, the rice in this country is like nothing you've ever had. >> tony, first you should take the butter and put it on your rice. bon appétit. >> bon appétit. >> it's good. >> it's really good, yeah. it was a hopeful time when i arrived in iran. a window had opened. there had been a slight loosening of restrictions since the election of president hassan
rouhani, and there was optimism for a deal that could lead to an easing of crippling economic sanctions imposed because of iran's continued nuclear program. trade restrictions that have been very, very difficult for everyone. but there's a push happening between opposing factions in the government. on one hand iranians are the descendants of ancient persia, the empire of poetry, flowers, the highly influential culture that goes back thousands of years. but the ruling clerical and military class are at best ambivalent, at worst actively hostile to much of that tradition. severe religious-based
restrictions of speech, dress, behavior were ushered in by the rise of the ayatollah during the 1979 islamic revolution. ♪ [ singing in a foreign language ] >> so how does one have fun in iran these days? this is a line that is constantly being tested. alcohol is, of course, forbidden. you can get away with listening to rock or rap, sort of, sometimes. but you cannot yourself rock or be seen to visibly rock. ♪ ♪ not everyone in iran is delighted with what their country has become since the revolution. but even insinuating discontent
the place for iranians to escape the heat, escape the pollution and have a kabob and just kind of unwind. as print journalists our job is difficult, but it's also kind of easy because there is so much to write about. you know, the difficult part is convincing people on the other side of the world that what we're telling you we are seeing in front of our eyes is actually
there. when you walk down the street you see a different side of things. people are proud. the culture is vibrant. people have a lot to say. >> jason rezaian is "the washington post" correspondent for iran. yeganeh his wife and a fellow journalist works for the uae-based newspaper "the national." jason is iranian/american. yeganeh, his wife, a full iranian citizen. this is their city, tehran. the official attitude toward fun in general seems to be an ever-shifting -- how -- is fun even a good idea? >> a lot of push and pull. a lot of give and take. when i first started coming here you wouldn't hear pop music in a restaurant or -- >> now it is everywhere. >> now it is everywhere. >> we have police, they arrest
girls or women for having the hijab or not being covered enough. it is not that we live with the police in our head, you know. >> one of the first things that people will say when you say, i'm going to iran. yeah, but don't they make women do this, this, this, this. >> yeah. >> actually not so much, not as much as our friends. compare and contrast, women aren't allowed to drive in saudi arabia. >> that's right. or vote. >> or vote. you can drive. you can vote. >> yeah, of course. of course. my sister is an accountant. she has her own company. girls are allowed to do almost everything, except if you want to go and watch football. >> can't watch football? >> we cannot. >> women's issues are often at the spear point of change or possible change here. on one hand, prevailing conservative attitudes demand certain things. on the other hand, iranian women
are famously assertive, opinionated. it's a striking difference from almost everywhere else in region. so why are we so friendly with the saudis again? >> it's a good question. that's a really good question. >> i'm happy that you asked that question. >> do you like it? are you happy here? >> look, i am at a point now after five years where i miss certain things about home. i miss my buddies. i miss burritos. i miss having certain beverages with my buddies and burritos and certain types of establishments. but i love it. i love it and i hate it. you know, but it's home. it's become home. >> are you optimistic about the future? >> yeah, especially if this nuclear deal finally happens. yeah, very much, actually. >> despite the hopeful nature of our conversation, six weeks after the filming of this episode, jason and yeganeh were
mysteriously arrested and detained by the police. sadly in iran, this sort of thing is not an isolated incident. [ horns honking ] ♪ >> what is okay to film in iran and what is not? what's okay for the friendly, to us at least, ministry of guidance might not be okay at all for the basij, essentially roving, young religious militias. despite all permits and despite all permits and paperwork being in order, we are detained for several hours. ♪ a romantic fumble at this romantic chateau ... leads to these fine humans. who you take to this eco-lodge ... to get seriously close to nature. then you check in with her at this tropical paradise. before soaring over this castle resort with your father-in-law. who finally seems to like you. life can be like that when you get it booking right. booking.com booking.yeah!
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paperwork being in order, we are detained for several hours. this sort of harassment is a daily part of life for iranians. >> just turn it off right now. >> bye-bye. bye-bye. ♪ >> i'm so glad to be here. thank you. hello. hi. good to meet you. people have been ridiculously nice to us. aren't you guys supposed to be the axis of evil? >> you are right. we are demonized by the media outside. you show black and white. people are demonstrating, and killing and bombing and this and that and you see and this and that, but you never talk about the real people who are actually living peacefully inside the country. you know? and eventually in the future of the world, we and americans have a very special place in this, you cannot play a game without considering iran as a friend. >> one of his passions is ancient persia, culinary
history, and he is writing a book. how do you pronounce the specialty here? dizi? >> dizi, it's the name of the pot. >> earthenware. >> this is one of the dishes of humankind. it goes back to mesopotamia. 6,000 years ago. >> potato, chick peas, water, lamb cooked together. add a little fat. mash it up with potatoes and chickpeas. that's good. what do iranians want to eat today? it is a home cooking culture. i mean -- >> yes. we didn't hatch the culture of eating out. this is a culture of sacred foods in the house. things which are unheard of. it's not in the book.
>> that's really interesting. >> a lot of secrets. ♪ >> have you ever tried traditional iranian food? >> it's difficult because everybody says the great food of iran is cooked in people's homes. >> yes. >> this is a land of secret recipes passed down within families like treasured possessions. beautiful spread of food. >> she's my wife. i am a really lucky man. she is very good cook. >> like so many iranians i have met, he has been kind enough off to invite me to his home. >> this is milk and chicken soup. >> it looks really good. >> my mom said that iranian
people loves guests. and they will never get tired if the guest likes their food. >> mm. a stew of fried chicken, onion, ground walnuts, pomegranate, and tomato paste. and this fruit, some kind of fruit? >> yes, there's the dried apricot inside as well. >> delicious. so good. >> needed 24 hours time. >> these are very sophisticated, very time-consuming dishes to prepare. always from scratch and always in excess of what you could possibly need. you tend to kill your guests with kindness around here. >> that dish is from the south of iran. >> from the persian gulf? >> persian gulf. yes. >> this one is from north. >> maybe if i could try some? yes. thank you. >> of course. >> that one, we made it with beans, meat. >> it's so good. mm. fantastic food. >> men and boy, both of them working.
>> it's hard to do something like this. that's what i'm waiting. that's the crispy rice at the bottom. what is it called? tariq? >> tariq. exactly. >> merci. >> my mom and my mother-in-law, they think if they have a guest, they have to have at least two or three kind of foods. if they make just one, they think it is not very polite for a guest. now they set the example for my generation. that i have a guest i will just make one food, one appetizer, one dessert. >> you know why? do you know why? >> because it's much easier. times have changed. pre-1979 tehran was party central. but with iran's 1979 revolution, 2,500 years of monarchy was over. over. the supreme leader ayatollah
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pre-1979 tehran was party central. but with iran's 1979 revolution, 2,500 years of monarchy was over. the supreme leader ayatollah khomeini's word became more or less law. today hundreds of thousands of iranians are bused to his enormous shrine from all over the country. ♪ the national holiday, khomeini died on this day in 1989, his funeral attended by over 10 million iranians. [ chanting ] >> america and all of the world, for friendship. >> don't want to miss the bus. ♪ [ horn honks ] south of tehran, the landscape opens up. nearly 300 miles of iranian highway stretching to the city. isfahan is iran's third largest city. half the world as the saying went back when this was the capital of persia and beyond. the city is renowned for its architecture, the grandest bridges and motives dating back
something very, very good. this shop has been here doing the same thing for a hundred years. and based on the line, it must be doing it right. i've had biryani in india. i had it in uzbekistan but there's no question who invented it. >> no. >> biryani. maybe you know the word. though this doesn't look like any biryani i ever had. minced lamb shoulder, onion, tumeric, cinnamon, mint, and of course, saffron, more valuable than gold by weight. this is delicious.
>> very good. >> isfahan today one of the most visited areas by tourists. >> yeah, everybody know if you go to tehran, you don't visit isfahan, you are wasting your time. ♪ >> the royal mosques, the second largest square in the world behind tiananmen in china. at dusk families come to the square to cool off, picnic, and have, yes, it looks like even a little bit of fun. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ morning prayer in islam. ♪ ♪ >> across town the bridge where men gather spontaneously to sing. ♪ >> is this okay, this impromptu giving oneself over to the creative urge to stand and sing out to no one in particular. maybe, but not okay apparently to film. gotta go.
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gotta go. yep. gotta go. the road back to tehran. along the way, reminders of just how far back this culture goes. the ruins of ancient caravans, highway rest stops from when armies, merchants, traders traveling by camel, by foot all passed along these same routes. this right here, a stop on what was once the silk road extending all the way to china. ♪ ♪ ♪ in this part of the world,
>> no problem. standing on line is a daily part of life for many iranians. they bake these on small stones. gives it the textures. >> that's why it's called tahdig. stone, pebble. >> in years since the '79 revolution, iranians have endured wars, food sanctions that have caused the economy to sputter. >> so i am going to make you a small tahdig. >> right. >> he is kind enough to take me for breakfast. >> it is made from bulgur wheat? >> yes. you know what is inside the wheat? it is meat. it is turkey. this is a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. >> that's good. >> you like? >> yeah, and this bread is amazing. you were how old when the war with iraq started? >> i was exactly 7.
>> iraq attacked and it was a surprise attack. iran's eight-year-long war with saddam hussein's iraq is deeply, deeply felt. hundreds of thousands of iranians, many of them children, died fighting in that conflict. were you afraid? >> very afraid. my father was in france for two years out of eight. and it was not only my brother. many young people like him. eight years of war with a country that is supported by many big powers. >> and it is worth mentioning whatever you think, wherever we are now, that saddam supported by the u.s. government and with our full knowledge used sarin and mustard gas on hundreds of thousand of iranians. less known in america, known and
felt by everyone in iran. >> and it was a mistake of the united states at that time. they made a bad memory for iranians. >> but still people are, indeed, really, really nice here. >> because people here don't hate americans. you had a coup. and then a revolution everything. and then we captured your embassy. we didn't kill each other. we didn't have a real fight. so it can be political misunderstanding which is resolved, which will be resolved imagine - she won't have to remember passwords.
so far, iran does not look, does not feel the way i had expected. ♪ neither east nor west, but always somewhere in the middle. ♪ well, it looks spectacular. >> you can't have this in the restaurant. it's time consuming. it's very expensive. so you have to -- persian cuisine has to be experienced in somebody's home. >> thank you. >> so this one here is called -- >> slow cooked lamb in yogurt. >> yogurt, saffron and egg
yolks. >> a prominent art gallery owner insisted i come over for lunch with her friends and family. >> here we have sour cherry rice. the meatballs of chicken. >> sour cherries. more than any other nation, we like sour cherries. >> the cook has been with the family for generations. rice mixed with yogurt and saffron baked into a crispy dough. don't think of rice as a side dish around here. it can be the main event. >> okay. very, very good. >> you put far more on the table than anyone can conceivably eat. is that -- >> yes, if you don't like your guest, you don't put anything. [ laughter ] >> and here we have a large very big meatball.
>> kuftarisi. ground beef, onion, and cooked rice. walnuts, dried apricots, boiled egg and barberries. >> anyway, we are a very interesting nation. >> and very, very confusing. >> extremely confusing. >> the contradictions are just -- >> enormous. >> enormous. >> iranians, we take you into our house and take you to our hearts. in that way we are extreme. we are extremists in so many ways. >> you see this tortured relationship between america and iran for many years. how do you think most americans will react when they see this? >> they will start coming. >> yes. [ laughter ] >> it is very important for us as iranians, to get true, to
make sure that we are seen as humans here and not the so-called enemy or the darkness of iran. like you go to anybody's house in iran, and i am sure they will welcome you. >> the axis of evil. we are not the axis of evil. just normal evil like everybody else. [ laughter ] >> ten years ago iran was -- people, they had hope for future. young people, they wanted to travel. they had a little bit of money but because of sanction, this sanction really squeeze everybody. eight years, no foreign investment here. and so it was very difficult time. and then the population is really young. 70% are under 35. and the thing is, they deserve much more than what they have now. they want to have good jobs. they want to make, you know, have families. but it's not possible now for them. >> i hope we can have more faith in the ordinary americans, because every little change in
the policy of the western country, it really, really affects our lives here. ♪ >> the tower, iran's tallest building and a symbol of national pride. it rises a thousand feet in the air and looks out at all tehran and beyond. ♪ we're out on the observation deck, taking it all in, trying to make some sense of it all. our time in iran was coming to an end, and it was impossible to say, was a window opening? or was it only a moment in time before it shut again? you learn pretty quickly that in iran there is plenty of gray area. an undefined territory. where is the line? it seems to change with barely a moment's notice. okay. here it comes. >> we should leave now. it's dangerous. ♪ >> this is the first time that we have experienced such thing. >> stay away from the glass. >> please come this way. please follow me. this way. ♪ [ drums ] >> please stop filming. ♪ last day in iran.
night falls, and the kids, like kids fanywhere, get in their rides and head for somewhere they can hang out. amazing all these american classics here. where do you get them? >> old men's, old people's yards. >> right. and then fix them up? >> yeah. >> mustang? [ engine revving ] >> camaro. >> camaro. >> firebird. >> firebird. >> pontiac. that's a perfect l.a. car right there. there. is this a car club or is this just people come? >> hang out this way. just people come? it's our friends. >> i called out for a little >> i called out for a little delivery. one last thing everyone's been i posted of you. at&t reminds you it can wait.
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>> yeah. >> mustang? [ engine revving ] >> camaro. >> camaro. >> firebird. >> pontiac. that's a perfect l.a. car right there. is this a car club or is this just people come? >> hang out this way. it's our friends. >> i called out for a little delivery. one last thing everyone's been telling me i have to try. iranian take-out pizza. it comes with ketchup. >> what do you think about iranian pizza? >> not bad. >> not bad. >> we don't put ketchup on pizza, though. >> i love ketchup. >> i pent my youth pretty much doing this, hanging out in a parking lot. ♪ let's assume the worst. let's assume that you cannot see any way to reconcile what you think of iran with your own
personal beliefs. that you just generally don't approve. >> yeah. >> i think those are exactly the sort of places you should go. >> totally. >> see who we're talking about and where we're talking about here. >> i think it's almost un-american not to go to those places, you know? >> i don't know that i can put it in any kind of perspective. i feel deeply conflicted, deeply confusing, exhilarating, heartbreaking, beautiful place. >> yeah, exactly. ♪ [ horn honking ] [ engine revving ] >> american cars are crazy. >> american cars are crazy, and they're fun. all i can tell you is the iran i've seen on tv and read about
in the papers, it's a much bigger picture. let's put it this way, it's complicated. ♪ after ten weeks, yeganeh was finally released, but as i read these lines, jason remains a prisoner. his future, the reasons for their arrest are still unknown. >> one, two, three. >> thank you, guys. >> thank you. >> we'll see you. >> no way. i share my toilet with no man. >> take the first left, please. >> meet uri, human rights