This Iranian film about setting up an indie rock band in the face of oppression and censorship was one that we hoped to see at the film festival but missed. Thankfully it was shown again this week and I can see why I have heard many people recently say that Iranian films are some of the best non-English language films out there.
It follows two young musicians Nagar and Ashkan and their would-be agent Nader (who was undoubtedly the best character in the film - think Jack Black in High Fidelity but with even more energy). They try to set up a band and dream of leaving Iran to play gigs throughout Europe and desperately try to obtain false passports, visas and permits (on the friendliest of Black Markets) that would allow them to perform.
As the film reaches it's climax the plan begins to unravel as their passport 'fixer' is arrested. This starts a chain of events that leads to a wonderfully unexpected Romeo and Juliet ending.
A beautiful and trendy score includes everything from indie rock to heavy metal to blues to trance and even a pretty good rap sequence, and provides a stunning narrative throughout the story, which itself is told in the most natural way with some excellent performances from the actors themselves.
I thought this was an excellent film that, throughout, lifts the spirits with its musical performances and moments of comedy only for them to be dramatically shattered in the final few moments.
No-one Knows About Persian Cats (2009): 5/5