Item posted on: 11-11-2009
Closing Film… Persian Cats

We close the festival with a film that bears witness to the unrest among the young people of Iran, with its focus on the underground music scene in Tehran, No One Knows About Persian Cats by Bahman Ghobadi.

This drama follows a young boy and a young girl as they plan to launch a music group shortly after being released from prison. Both characters travel to Teheran where they meet other underground rock musicians and attempt to convince them to leave Iran. However, their dreams to flee to Europe in order to play music freely seem improbable without money or a passport.

Fueled by frustration with the myriad prohibitions governing life in Iran, No One Knows About Persian Cats strings an improvised tale around Tehran's underground indie-rock scene. Considering it is estimated that 60% of Iran's population is under 30, the film emerges as a vital celebration of the generation which is likely to have the greatest influence on its country's future. (Variety)

In the film, a love/hate letter to Tehran itself, he blends the genres of concert film, social drama, comedy, and thriller into a cohesive faux-documentary, adjusting his style to insure a snug fit. Ghobadi shot Cats underground in only 17 days with a S12K camera. In Iran, 35mm equipment is owned by the state. The title refers to a law that bans dogs and cats from being outdoors.  (ScreenDaily)

No One Knows About Persian Cats premiered at the Cannes Festival 2009; it was the opening film of the Un Certain Regard selection and won the Special Jury Prize. 

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