This Iranian film recalls one I saw last year at TIFF: An Egyptian film, Microphone. Microphone was a film partly about the underground music scene in Egypt. No One Knows About Persian Cats runs through all kinds of music genres while it tells the story of creative aspirations, just as in Microphone. Of course these creative aspirations have many roadblocks due to the repressive nature of the government.
Two young musicians (Negar and Ashkan) can’t play music in their own country (it’s even difficult to practice), but getting passports to leave for a London gig is even harder. While paying off a facilitator for the exit documents, they go looking for musicians to form a band, chauffeured around Tehran by a manic entrepreneur, Nader. This gives the film-goer the chance to sample some underground (“indie rock”) music. Nader (Hamed Behdad) is a scene stealer, especially when he is arguing with the police to reduce his sentence for selling bootleg DVD’s. Framed through a door, we don’t even see the interrogator. We do see Nader ranting on and on, pleading his case, begging to have his sentence reduced. He wins the argument.
While the film does have a veneer of politics about it, the real pleasure is purely and simply the music. Worth a viewing – and a listen.