In "No One Knows About Persian Cats," director Bahman Ghobadi walks the fine line between reality and fiction. Set in Tehran, the story is centered around indie-rock duo Negar and Ashkan as they search for potential band mates, an underground performance space, and costly black-market passports and visas for their planned emigration to England. Along the way, they encounter real-life bands and artists who represent the spectrum of musical practices existing beneath the government's radar in present-day Iran - everything from jazz and blues to heavy metal to Persian rap.

Since "No One Knows About Persian Cats" was made without a permit from the Islamic government, it is almost certain that the film's distribution in Iran will be in the same underground style as its conditions of production. Shot in only 17 days using a SI-2K camera (as was used in "Slumdog Millionaire"), "No One Knows About Persian Cats" is infused with the frantic urgency of both the musicians and the filmmaker to create from within an oppressive system. Here, indie rock is truly "indie," and to play it signals a fight for independence against state censorship.

"No One Knows About Persian Cats" was awarded the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.
ASHLEY SMITH

Title
No One Knows About Persian Cats
Director
Bahman Ghobadi
Country
Iran
Length
106 min
Festival
2009
Section
Asian Images
Language
Persian
Subtitle
English
Production year
2009
Original title
Kasi az gorbehaye irani khabar nadareh
Cast
Hamed Behdad, Ashkan Koohzad, Negar Shaghaghi
Producer
Bahman Ghobadi
Script
Bahman Ghobadi, Hossein Mortezaeiyan, Roxana Saberi

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