In the summer of 2006, as the Iranian-backed Hezbollah fought off Israelis in Lebanon and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced down President George Bush at the United Nations, a bus full of Iranian pilgrims left Tehran on a journey to the holy city of Karbala, deep inside a shattered Iraq. “Pilgrimage To Karbala” follows this intense journey into the heartlands of Shia Islam, revealing how two ancient crimes — the murder of Muhammad’s grandson and the disappearance of a six-year-old imam became the founding legends of Shiism and increasingly dominate events and attitudes in the Middle East today.
BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Kevin Sim directed WIDE ANGLE’s “Beslan: Siege of School No. 1″ about the bloodiest act of terrorism in modern Russia in which Chechen gunmen took over a school and kept more than 1,000 women and children hostage for three days. His other films include “Sacred Ground,” a FRONTLINE episode on rebuilding the Twin Tower site; “Remember My Lai,” also for FRONTLINE; HITLER’S SEARCH FOR THE HOLY GRAIL; THE SHAKESPEARE MYSTERY; and COLLEGE GIRLS, a six-part series chronicling a generation of students at Oxford’s last women-only college.