Rap gives a taste of Iran’s reality


This English-subtitled Iranian rap song from Bahman Ghobadi’s award-winning 2009 Iranian movie, ‘No One Knows About Persian Cats’, exposes the grim reality of everyday life for most Iranians, which the regime would prefer not to mention. It should be noted that in the eight years since the movie was made,  both the regime’s oppression and the already massive poverty in Iran have escalated massively, despite the much-vaunted ‘nuclear deal’ and the claims of Rouhani’s administration to represent a new “moderate, reformist” government.

The song gives a taste of the movie, which follows two young musicians (Ashkan and Negar)  as they form a band and prepare to leave Iran shortly after their release from prison, as they encounter a man named Nader (played by Hamed Behdad), an underground music fan and producer, who helps them to travel clandestinely around Tehran and the surrounding area to meet other underground musicians possibly interested in forming a band and later leaving the country.

The movie, which aimed to explore young Iranians’ struggle to be heard against the background of the regime’s oppression and the stark poverty of most of Iran’s citizens, won the Special Jury Prize Ex-aequo in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.