Friday, March 19, 2010

Les Chats Persians - Bahman Qobadi (2009)

Qobadi's masterpiece out of Iran doesn't just embody what's great about independent film. It represents everything good in rock and roll.

Hell, I'll go you one better. Les Chats makes a statement about the function of art in general.

That function? Rebellion.

The connection this film makes between political uprising and art isn't a new concept, but Qobadi makes his argument with an eloquent rage I don't think I've ever seen.

Maybe that's because we have the luxury of taking for granted this concept of living in a relatively free country.

The films quieter moments are just as powerful as its raucous, sometimes gleefully angry musical interludes.

One of the most memorable is a scene where one character, mostly obscured by a door, begs for mercy from a harsh judge.

The underground Iranian filmmaker rails against government and religion for just under 2 hours.

It's eerie that the film won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival just weeks before the now notorious riots following the disputed (stolen) Iranian elections. In retrospect, the film feels prophetical.

Qobadi is filled with fury at how his government treats his people. In an interview, he railed against the treatment of women as 'the voice against God.'

The film, as angry as it will make you does have its share of humor and that is what makes now exhiled Qobadi a gift.

The cinema community embraces him and every one of you should desperately seek this film out.

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