photos: Raving Iran / Susanne Regina Meures
A bass, darkness, strobing light. Waving arms, dancing people, glimpses of the night, a techno beat. We are not in Berghain or any other dark place in Berlin. We are in the Iranian desert with Anoosh and Arash. The two friends and musicians are having a – not only illegal – but highly dangerous party with some friends in the outback of the desert. If they get caught, they will go to jail at least. Just one of the many inconveniences they have to endure to be young and a little bit free in Iran. The documentary Raving Iran by Susanne Regina Meures is telling a little piece of their story. It just premiered in Berlin at Volksbühne. Find out more and see the trailer after the jump.
Anoosh and Arash are in their mid-twenties when director Susanne Regina Meures comes to visit them in Iran to start her documentary. They are producing techno and house music under the name of Blade&Beard. But because of the Iranian regime they can’t play it openly. The film follows the two friends around Tehrans Underground Scene and up to the surface of the daily life and their struggles, where even finding a copy shop that will print their covers turns out to be a hard search for the Holy Grail.
“Girls, don’t forget your headscarfs and coats, in case anyone comes”, Anoosh briefs the girls at the party before it starts. In the police state of Iran, anything foreign is frowned upon, political messages will be persecuted heavily. The film shows the reality of those who are the kind of refugees that fall a bit under the radar in the crisis right now, those that struggle to live where they are but aren’t recognized because they are not in immediate danger. Still, Anoosh and Arash manage to go to a festival in Zurich, Switzerland and experience a complete other, open world they dreamed of.
In a city like Berlin, where Techno is overflowing and ever-present, where club-culture is sort of hedonistic and about as free as it gets, a film like “Raving Iran” puts things in perspective. Not only about the ever-foreign stranger of the Middle East but also about what it really means for the individual to live in the consequences of the decisions made by the government. Every day and every night.
On the premiere evening in Volksbühne Anoosh, Arash and the director came to speak to the audience and later on Anoosh and Arash played some tunes in the foyer. Susanne Regina Meures filmed with small cameras and sometimes even an iphone to minimalize the danger. When asked by an audience member what would have happened if they would have gotten caught by the police, no one really knows the answer. Nor wants to speak it out loud. But what is most important is the now and Anoosh says: “We just wanna make music.” And their dream place to live? Naturally, Berlin.
“Raving Iran” is a great movie for not only people who love electronic music but an important film for anyone. You can go see it from Thursday on in cinemas such as Moviemento, Cinemaxx, Filmtheater am Friedrichshain, Odeon or City Kino Wedding! Just check out the program of the cinema nearest to you.