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"No One Knows About Persian Cats" opens Certain Regard
The section Certain Regard opens today with the presentation of No One Knows About Persian Cats by Bahman Ghabadi. The Iranian director gained international acclaim in Cannes in 2000 for his first feature film, A Time for Drunken Horses, which won the Camera d'Or award.
He’s back this year with a portrait of Tehran, shot in a rush and without authorization, a story of Iranian youth fighting against repression and being bullied around. As his two heroes, underground musicians, desperately try to get papers to go to Europe, Bahman Ghabadi shows the secret life of this city's cultural energy, despite violent repression by the authorities.
"For the last 30 years in Iran,” explains Bahman Ghabadi, “certain music, in particular Western music, has been virtually forbidden by the authorities. From the moment I ventured into the heart of Tehran and descended the dark steps into the cellars where this music is played, I discovered a strange world, different and fascinating. A hidden world of rebel musicians, unseen and unheard by the majority of the city’s population. And as I witnessed their world, their lives, their artistic concerns, the dangers they face, arrests by the police, savage beatings and more…when I saw all they go through simply because they sing, play an instrument, love music…I said to myself that this film had to be made. "
Like Chinese director Lou Ye, presenting Spring Fever in Competition, Bahman Ghabadi also had to get around the censor board in order to complete his project. "We had no permission. The scouting was done using two or three motorbikes and we began filming without any real preparation. The scenes had to be shot at high speed, so the police couldn’t spot us."
The Bulletin Board
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