11 months ago

Raving Iran

The story behind Iran's illegal party scene.

Arash and Anoosh attracting a unique crowd through their passion and love for music are ones to watch –  Return Booking, Berlin, Germany. 

They call themselves Blade & Beard – two DJs who are making inroads with their own brand of melodic “deep house.” Illegal inroads, that is, as Anoosh and Arash live in Iran, where the moral police have banned all forms of techno or house music. They are nevertheless able to spread their beats thanks to the underground music circuit, but it’s far from easy. They both hunger for a normal life, out in the open – but without having to compromise their musical dreams. The young men know this is only possible outside of Iran. When they receive an invitation to play at the Lethargy techno festival in Zurich, they recognize that the time has come to make a big decision.

First time director Susanne Regina Meurs followed Anoosh and Arash from September 2013 to August 2014, during a crucial phase in their lives. She films their life in Tehran, where they are constantly on their guard, and captures them as they experience the freedom of Switzerland. Most of the footage was shot using mobile phones, for reasons of security. The result is a raw but poetic story of two young men at a crossroads in their lives.

“A hypnotic film. An intense and moving journey. Close and Personal. Like a liberating exorcism.” Muriel Del Don, Cineuropa.

‘Raving Iran’ was a big success. It has been screened at over 100 festivals including the Berlinale, Hot Docs Toronto, Vision du Réel Nyon, and has won numerous awards including the First Steps Award, Zurich Film Prize and the Advancement Award at the German Documentary Awards. Currently Sue is in the research phase of her next project, which is again set in the Middle East.

The extraordinary release of Raving Iran

How did a niche documentary by a first-time director, about two unknown Iranian DJs, become one of Germany’s cinematic events of the year?

Over 60,000 people in Germany have now seen Raving Iran, the debut feature by Susanne Regina Meures, and a year after its release the film continues to draw interest. On the occasion of the film’s online launch in our MOVING DOCS Home Cinema, Kirstin Innes talked to Weronika Adamowska of Raving Iran’s distributors and Moving Docs partners, Rise and Shine Cinema, about how they did it. Read more here

Iranian Musicians Deserve Better than the ‘Raving Iran’ Documentary

It’s unclear whether the film is a wilful misinterpretation or an unfortunate misunderstanding, but either way its message is problematic. Read more here

Raving Iran, Full film below. Subs available in english, german. 

Blade & Beard, the musical brotherhood of Anoosh & Arash

Throwing Party in Iran is generally forbidden & illegal. So it’s very complicated and very risky to do. Finding trustworthy people and managing the party, from location to equipment in Iran is very hard. The duo was always aware of the dangers these activities brought with them and they had to stay as far away as possible from the radical police force. Organising a party is a crime, and it is punished just as such. Anoosh being arrested several times and being beaten to near death, did not stop them to keep on going!

A 1000km away from Teheran they started a party inspired by “Burning Man” in the middle of the desert, back in 2008. Years of experience started attracting tourist and also the director of the documentary “Raving Iran”, Susanne Regina Meures. She followed the parties and the life of the two boys and published the documentary “Raving Iran” in 2013 Anoosh and Arash were invited to travel to Switzerland and perform at Street parade, and decided to stay in Switzerland afterwards.

They started touring Europe once they received their Asylum and have played clubs such as Nordstern in Basel, Undercurrent in Amsterdam and will appear on major festivals such as Tomorrowland, Dockland Festival, Sonne Mond und Sterne and Lighthouse Festival. Arash and Anoosh attracting a unique crowd through their passion and love for music are ones to watch. For bookings go here

AMSTERDAM – Extra screenings due to high demand

June 13rd, 2018, Amsterdam – Pakhuis de Zwijger
Docu: Raving Iran – This screening is free of charge | Apply here

June 28th, 2018, Amsterdam – Pakhuis de Zwijger
Docu: Raving Iran – For those who where too late to RSVP, we will have another screening of Raving Iran at the 28th of June!
Make sure you reserve a seat