Movie reflection: “No one knows about Persian Cats”

Recently we watched the movie “No one knows about Persian Cats” in class. It is an Iranian movie that tells the (real) story of two young musicians in Teheran who perform indie rock music. That does not seem very special from a european point of view, but in Iran most kinds of western music such as pop, rock and rap are prohibited and people performing such music are being persecuted by the government.
The two protagonists in the movie are truly brave persons which becomes even more apparent as they are being played by them selfs giving the whole movie an almost documentary like feeling.
It makes the audience ask them selfs the question, ‘What would I do in such a situation?’ would I put my life at risk to pursue my passion?
Of course that question can not be answered truthfully because it is completely different to imagine what it would be like to be in such a situation than actually being there, but I tend to say that I (as a music production student) would probably not perform music under such circumstances. I would still write and play music, but I wouldn’t do publicly anymore. Maybe I would answer the question different if a actually was in a situation like in the movie, they say you only know what you have when you don’t have t anymore and I think that saying applies here very well. The value of music in an oppressed society like in Iran is totally different from the value of music in the 21st’s century western society. For us (or at least me) music is a passion, but at the other hand it is also ‘only’ a product of consumption that is nice to have, but not essential for my well being. In a society like Iran music is way more than ‘just’ a product of consumption, music is a way to protest against the government and all the restrictions it forces upon the people it is a bohemian way of protest and as such it becomes much more than only music. That has to be kept in mind while trying to answer the question and makes it way more complicated to answer it, too. Of course do I want to perform music and be a musician, but I don’t want to be a protestor who shows their protest through their music, which you ultimately are in such circumstances whether you want it or not, but I  want to make music for the sake of the art and not to protest the government or  any other institution. That’s why I would keep making music, but I would not perform or produce it publicly if I would live in a society like in the movie.
and if I wanted to protest I would choose a different way than doing it through music.


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