In January I happened to TiVo a PBS called Rick Steves' Iran. You may have seen or heard of Rick before -- he's a travel writer who's done many books and TV shows on travel, particularly Europe. Anyhow, this show was special, as he was allowed a rare chance to visit several cities in Iran and film the visit for a special show.
The show is amazing! I had never seen such recent footage of Iran and on the varied kind of people who live there, as well as the historical sites. I think as Americans we tend to get the idea that Iran is an evil country but the people that Steves met were warm and welcoming. He also does a nice job of interspersing the history of Iran and especially of US/Iran relations, including the US role in the establishment of the shah in the '50s and the hostage crisis/rise to power of the ayatollahs in the late '70s. At the same time, he makes clear that his visit is officially allowed by the government and that a government official accompanies throughout his visit to monitor and if needed censor the scenes that he captured.
This week I learned that the one hour DVD of this video is available for $5 (instead of the normal $19.95) for those who agree to show this to other groups of people, and of course this means teachers. Orders have to be in by March 31, though, so act fast.
You can get a full background on the special at http://www.ricksteves.com/
And no, I get nothing from this, just passing the word about something I think is terrific.