No One Knows About Persian Cats
Time Out says
All non-religious music is illegal in Iran, so it’s a crepuscular world of basement cellars into which the jittery camera follows them. Negar and Ashkan hook up with Nader, a wheeler-dealer (played hilariously Hamed Behdad), who promises to procure black market passports. He also takes them – and us – on a tour of Tehran’s musicians, from Farsi rappers to traditional vocalists, to find band mates. There are some brilliantly funny scenes: a farmer moans that the metal band practising in a cowshed is putting his heifers off milking. There are some lovely murmurs too of the graceful expressiveness for which Ghobadi (‘Turtles Can Fly’) is known: a gentle guitar teacher plays to a classroom of rapt five year olds. A few have criticised the music for being patchy, which it is. But that’s mealy-mouthed considering the bravery and resistance of the musicians. The personal cost is realised in a sudden spasm of violence at the end, making this a full-throated plea for civil liberties. Incidentally, Ghobadi and his two leads have since had to leave Iran.
Cast and crew