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No One Knows About Persian Cats

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Renowned Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi (A Time For Drunken Horses, Marooned in Iraq) returns with "an exhilarating examination of a leading Iranian criminal enterprise music" (The Wall Street Journa). Co-written by imprisoned Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, the film is an indictment of artistic repression in Iran s exciting underground music scene and a funny and moving celebration of an entire generation of Iranians striving towards personal and creative freedom. Shot in secret and featuring extraordinary performances by real underground bands, NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS follows a pair of young musicians, recently released from prison, on a mission to take their rock band to Europe. Forbidden by the authorities to play in Iran, they plan their escape abroad with a fast-talking music promoter. Vowing to play one last show before leaving Tehran, their dangerous mission takes them on a free-wheeling journey through the City s vibrant and diverse underground scene, home to an estimated 2,000 illegal independent bands.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad
  • Directors: Bahman Ghobadi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: March 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004GSVX9Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,208 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 9, 2011
Format: DVD
Bahman Ghobadi's "No One Knows About Persian Cats" is a minimalist docu-drama in which art mimics real life. This rogue film, shot completely on the fly and without permits, depicts the near impossibility of being an independent rock musician in contemporary Iran. So the great irony is that the film itself was conceived and executed in the same stealthy way in which the musicians depicted in the film must construct and then hide their illegal endeavors in underground exhibitions. "No One Knows About Persian Cats" is really a celebration of artistic freedom and a tribute to musical expression. The plot may be virtually non-existent, but the musical appeal is really undeniable.

In a nutshell, the entire film revolves around a couple of musicians who are attempting to travel to London for a gig. They've got two obstacles, however--they need passports and travel documents and they need additional band members. The rest of the movie is a loose excursion around the streets of Tehran as they hunt for leads to fulfill both goals. With plenty of humor, some disappointments, and loads of musical performances--"No One Knows About Persian Cats" isn't about narrative flow or plotting, but about the almost documentary experience of "being there." The performers are all incredibly naturalistic, as you might expect, and the youthful exuberance of rocking out permeates every frame of the film.

In addition to indie rock (some in Farsi, some English), there is more traditional fare as well as surprising forays into jazz and even rap. A particularly memorable sequence showcases a musical montage of Tehran's street people set to a rap accompaniment. Performances occur in abandoned warehouses, rooftops, and anywhere else they can get away with their "crimes.
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(Spoilers warning) Wonderful film, however, it is marketed as a documentary and this is not true. The ending of the film has the two main characters failing to leave the country and committing suicide, and in real life they actually did make it to London and sought asylum there.
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Beautiful well made movie of Mr Ghoubadi. He certainly presented how the young people have to live underground to get to their hopes and wishes. Sad but it is true.
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Great subject -- the film makes me very curious about the state of the rock music scene in Iran. I greatly appreciate how Ghobadi's camera cuts from the vignettes of bands rehearsing in unusual, marginal spaces to an urban survey of social spaces of Tehran, structurally suggesting a parallel energy and set of concerns (censorship, care for creativity).
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Format: DVD
The facts stated in the negative review might well be true, but I really enjoyed watching this fairly amateur film that gave me a sense of what it might be like to be an artist struggling in an oppressive regime. The music montages, ala MTV, were also more interesting than I thought they would be. This might have been the first time I ever really cared enough about rap lyrics to read subtitles! The characters were compelling and I fully believed by the end that they would be willing to die for their art.
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