Techno in the face of oppression

‘Raving Iran’ proves the power of music.


Experiencing music can be synonymous to experiencing an endorphin high—it can be mentally liberating as much as it can be physically releasing. However, seeking such forms of liberation comes at a high cost for a majority of the young Iranians living in Tehran. Where in Western society techno raves and electronic music encounters are springing up like wild mushrooms, in Iran those who wish to undertake such ventures are left facing the music—in the bleakest sense of the word. Consequently, in Iran the techno scene generally stays hidden in the confined spaces of dark cellars and grim basements with not a single intention of touching surface—pertaining as an illegal endeavor.


Film director Susanne Regina Meures got the chance to get up-close and personal with Iran’s oppressive, stifling regime. Documenting the suffocation felt by much of the Iranian locale, that is deprived of any musical liberties other than the one put in place by the Iranian authorities. Following the lives of Arash and Anoosh, two aspiring techno DJs operating under the musical alias of Blade & Beard, Meures was able to capture the battle they endure on a daily basis in an intensely heartfelt documentary, titled Raving Iran. Documenting the endless struggle to attain a dream that seems very much unattainable, Meures dishes up a thought-provoking cinematic experience forcing us to contemplate our most cherished ideals.


Through it we’re offered an insight into how the Iranian DJ-duo jump at the opportunity to pursue their dream across borders, only to get it ripped away again once their visas expire. Leaving them at a stand-still, bearing the question: Would you follow your dreams if it meant you had to risk your life over it? A thought that barely seems to cross the techno lovers’ minds as they eminently fight for that which they believe in and chase their dreams at any given cost. Screening on the 10th of May at Kriterion as part of Movies that Matter, you can expect an astoundingly beautiful and unfortunate true storyline that is vigilant, raw, poetic and full of unnerving tension.

Raving Iran screens on 10 May at Kriterion, Amsterdam



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