No One Knows About Persian Cats : DVD Review

Title: No One Knows About Persian Cats
Starring: Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Certificate: 12A
Running Time: 106 mins
UK Release Date: March 26, 2010

No One Knows About Persian Cats and at first you might think why would anyone want to know? Well it’s not about actually furry cats, more about the type of cool cats that sing or play music. But it is set in Iran and it’s entirely subtitled. Still not that keen? I understand. It doesn’t at first appear to be the most accessible film to a UK audience. However it was winner of the Special Jury Prize in Cannes last year so it must be worth a look. Mind you there have been a lot of terrible films that have done well at Cannes.

Fortunately No One Knows About Persian Cats isn’t one of them. It’s engaging, funny and interesting. Five Iranian teenagers (including the three main leads Negar, Ashkan and Nader) living in Tehran are trying to put together a band – an Indie band. However unlike in other countries across the world there are only 312 Indie bands in Iran and what’s more music is completely banned in Iran… apparently for ‘the emotions it stirs up’. So starting up a band is a criminal act and has to be treated as such by the youngsters who hire a spy instead of a manager.

Director Bahman Ghobadi is a bit flashy with his camera work and there are some editing problems but overall this is a good film, providing an interesting look into the lives of people that are rarely captured on celluloid.

So there is lots of music, lots of rehearsing and recording and lots of talking and debate. It’s difficult to follow at times due to the subtitles and the songs are obviously difficult to fully enjoy because of the language barrier but in general the film is enjoyable. It might not be a big blockbuster but if you like music and want to experience a different angle on things this film is worth a look.

Author : Kevin Stanley