In a time when various filmmakers and musicians advocate stricter laws in response of the downloading of their works on the internet, Kurdish-Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi decides to make his 2009 film No one knows about Persian Cats free for all. In a brief interview directed to the Iranian people, Ghobadi explains his reasons behind this choice by denouncing the repressive situation that young artists, which he describes as the future of Iran, encounter in their day to day search for an artistic freedom.
A melodramatic tribute to Iran’s music underground scene, and filmed in only 17 days, No one knows about Persian Cats is a sort of docudrama which follows the life of Ashkan (Ashkan Koshanejad) and Negar (Negar Shaghaghi) in their arduous task of forming an indie-rock band in Tehran in order to then go to London to play a gig.
…music is considered as an illicit activity…
Although filmed with a casting of non professional actors and with the constant fear of being stopped by the authorities, Ghobadi succeeds in excellently portraying the struggle of a generation of young Iranians who, despite the fact that they live in a country where musical instruments are forbidden on national TV and where music is considered as an illicit activity, are still able to express themselves and dream for a better future.
Image courtesy of No One Knows About Persian Cats