New documentary explores Iran’s forbidden techno scene
While excursions into the gritty underground can be a sporadic indulgence for many of us, in countries like Iran it is the only outlet available. A new documentary, Raving Iran, explores the Iranian underground where a burgeoning techno scene has blossomed in spite of dire consequences. The documentary probes the lives of two Iranian DJs, Anoosh and Arash who risk imprisonment, beatings, and death as they pursue their craft.
In Iran, Western music has been officially banned from all television and radio outlets since 2005 when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president on an ultra-conservative platform. Since then, playing western music in public has carried a punishment of stoning, whipping, prolonged imprisonment, and, in some cases, the death penalty.
In the documentary’s trailer, the DJs recount times when they were exposed and beaten nearly to death and the lengths they must endure to keep their passion a secret. Produced by Swiss filmmaker Susanne Regina Meures, the film climaxes when the two DJs, “tired of hiding from the police and their stagnating career, organize one last manic techno rave under dangerous circumstances in the desert.”
More information about the film’s stops on the indie festival circuit can be found at the Raving Iran website.