teheran iran


RAVING IRAN, Susanne Regina Meures (2016)

A compelling documentary about two techno DJs trying to do their business in a land where every kind of electronic music is illegal. We watch Arash and Anoosh organizing parties, printing their covers and selling their CDs. What sounds like normal music business is a difficult and dangerous challenge in the Iran. Scenes at the “moral department” in Teheran makes you laugh and choke at the same time. This culture is so different from our western values and understandings of moral that it’s sometimes hard to believe. But the documentary is most of the time very authentic (I say most of the time because some dialogues seemed a bit scripted) mainly because of the vibrant and rough cut, of course driven by techno beats, and the camera style which is, due to the circumstances, often smartphone footage or even worse quality. This changes when the duo travels to Zurich where they get the chance to play at Lethargy, part of the biggest european techno festival Streetparade. After we watched them having rough times in their home it feels like a release for the audience as well to see them in the middle of this giant party. It is really special for them to play in front of a lot of people, open air, in the city. The change of camera style visualizes the culture change. Funny thing is  - they already miss Iran. After five days in Zurich they need to decide whether to go back to Iran or to destroy their documents and try to stay in Europe (at least this is what a lawyer back in Iran advised). As I mentioned it’s an interesting and deep inside in a totally other culture than ours, so much is illegal but on the other hand there is always a way to make it possible somehow. You can’t make a party in your house because your neighbours will surely call the police and they will surely arrest you. So you rent a bus, invite all of your friends, bribe some policemen and party in the desert. The perspective you get is - of course - biased and shows only one side. But nevertheless it’s an interesting inside and only one of thousand examples of the difficult life in Iran.