Directed by Babak Payami, the new documentary 752 is Not A Number begins on January 8th, 2020 after Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 is destroyed leaving Iranian air space, immediately killing all 176 passengers. Although Iranian authorities denied responsibility, there were many who believed otherwise. However, the answers that he was given was not satisfying to Hamed Esmaeilion, a dentist in Newmarket, Ontario. The husband and father to two of the victims, Esmaeilion becomes determined to retrieve their remains and begin a quest for justice for all of those who were killed in this atrocity.
Telling the unbelievable true story of one man’s desire to uncover to dig up the truth surrounding the death of his family, 752 is a relentless story of hurt and corruption. While the story is fueled by tragedy and pain, there’s also little doubt that Payami has found a tale that contains all the elements of the very best of thrillers. Determined to unravel the mystery of the death of his wife and daughter, Esmaeilion undertakes incredible risk to his own life as he challenges governments to take responsibility. Although he may be a simple Canadian dentist, his pursuit leads him into situations that feel as though they were taken from spy novels. With each piece of the puzzle that he discovers, he realizes that corruption is deeply embedded within government but he is not deterred from his quest.
There is a fury to 752 that is utterly palpable. Driven by passion, Esmaeilion’s quest reveals the lengths that some will go to in order to cover up one’s sins. As the Iranian government attempts to brush aside the truth of their actions, Esmaeilion’s hurt and anger grows yet, at the same time, so too does his resolve. Despite threats to his life, he pursues with fervor in his pursuit of justice.
752 is Not a Number premiered at TIFF ’22. For more information, click here.