Hey look! More free stuff! Drop me a line at win [at] livingincinema.com for your chance to win the soundtrack to Bahman Ghobadi’s terrific (and surprising) look at the underground music scene in Tehran, No One Knows About Persian Cats.

Five lucky people will be chosen at random. Once again, US residents only.

Persian Cats tells the familiar tale of a young couple who just want to put together a band and play, but the key difference is that rock and roll in Tehran isn’t just something to annoy the parents, it is a revolutionary act that could lead to prison or even death.

For real.

Outlawed for the last 30 years, rock and roll nevertheless thrives in the unlikeliest of places and most hostile of environments. Like a biologist looking for life at the bottom of the ocean, Ghobadi (A Time For Drunken Horses, Turtles Can Fly) prowls the alleys and basements of the city listening for that thump of bass that is the pulse of rock and roll.

His guides are his two co-stars, real life Iranian musicians Negar Dhaghaghi and Ashkan Koshanejad, whom he met at an illegal recording facility. He co-wrote the script with Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi who made the news in 2009 when she was arrested and detained as a spy for 100 days by Iranian authorities.

Filmed on the sly in Tehran – the filmmakers were arrested twice during the shoot and had to bribe and lie their way to freedom – the loose and largely improvised story follows Negar and Ashkan as they look to recruit a backing band and raise enough cash to get visas so they can perform in Europe. Along the way they encounter plenty of others with the same dreams and complications across a surprising range of musical styles.

Like the underground music that inspired it, No One Knows About Persian Cats is a raw but vibrant street-level glimpse at a world few Westerners are even aware exists. It is eye opening, entertaining, inspirational and heart breaking all at the same time.

Pop music in the West has largely calcified into a car commercial-safe cliché, but in places like Tehran it still means something.  Enter now to win your copy of the soundtrack featuring the likes of Take it Easy Hospital (Negar and Ashkan’s band), Hichkas, The Yellow Dogs and more. I’ll announce five winners within a week or so.

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Special Prize at Cannes in 2009, No One Knows About Persian Cats hits VOD on April 14. It opens at New York’s IFC Center on April 16, Los Angeles on April 23 and other cities in the weeks to come.

Here’s Take it Easy Hospital and “Human Jungle”

2 Responses to “Win the soundtrack to ‘No One Knows About Persian Cats’ the Cannes winner about Iranian underground rock and roll”

  1. I LOVED this film. One of my very favorites of the year so far, and the music is amazing.

  2. So enter the contest!

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All material copyright 2007-2012 by Craig Kennedy unless otherwise stated