No One Knows About Persian Cats

1188 words - 5 pages

A movie No one knows about Persian cats ask us this question? I would change the title somewhat to ask “no one who knows about Persian people”. No one knows about Persian cats takes us into the underground music scene in Iran. Many in the western world and especially in the United States may look dumbfounded when you talk about an underground music scene in Iran. I believe the director Bahman Ghobadi’s movie about the underground music scene not only exposes the repression of the existing Iranian government on freedom of expression, but also shows a side of Iranian culture most would never have thought existed. I believe this movie upholds many truths about democracy and freedom of speech, but also exposes the demagoguery of many in the west who portray Iran as a united front of political Islam. Lastly, it also shows the fallacy of Samuel Huntington's the Clash of civilizations.
The movie No One Knows about Persian Cat’s centers around two musicians recently released from prison for performing music without permission. Negar and Ashkan are two musicians along with their promoter Nader trying to get a band together to go play music in Europe since they are not able to play in Iran. The movie has all the synergy of a Cold War spy novel with our protagonist stealthily walking into basements and padded rooms all over Tehran. Interspersed they meet a wide and varied group of people amazingly most of these people aren't singing songs about raging against the West. They are very much as American independent bands directing their music towards issues in their own life. I believe one part of the movie tends to dispel the notion that all people from the Middle East and Western Asia are hell-bent on destroying Western civilization. In Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations he puts forth the idea that all Islamic nations will band together to fight the Christian West. This movie shows that a great number of young Iranian people are widely accepting of what would be considered a foreign music sound. On the other hand I think it also dispels the hard-line political Islam belief that westernized nation of Islamic countries is taking place. Maybe the basic beats tend to be of a Western theme versus classical Persian music. The themes are definitely related not to the West but directly to the bands own culture. In fact in several scenes of the movie band members said they did not want to sing English but wanted to sing in Persian. The rap star in one part of the movie does not consider himself a rap star but uses the Persian word instead thereby separating him from other Western music contemporaries (Bahman, Ghobadi, 2009).
Like any good movie that has protests as its underlying theme there are many snapshots of what the director sees as nondemocratic or human rights issues. The title alone is rather ironic no one knows about Persian cats obviously this may be the case as the Iranian government is trying to ban possession of cats and dogs. There's one...

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