2 user 9 critic

Raving Iran (2016)

Two DJ's in Tehran are battling to play the music they love and set up dance parties. Local regime does not look well at harbingers of western culture of decay so the protagonists need to do big decisions.


Sue Meures
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Two DJ's in Tehran are battling to play the music they love and set up dance parties. Local regime does not look well at harbingers of western culture of decay so the protagonists need to do big decisions.

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Partly interesting (first half, in Iran) moving over to a less interesting half (in Zürich). Very relevant final scene whether or not to stay in Zürich
23 May 2017 | by JvH48See all my reviews

Saw this movie at the festival Movies That Matter (what is in a name?) in The Hague in March 2017. The first half, in Iran, was interesting, especially their visit to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, when trying to find out what was allowed and what not. For example, they showed a draft CD cover, after which they learned that English texts were forbidden, unless unavoidable for very specific reasons, like proper names. Also complicated were the rules around setting up a concert and still complying with current laws, like women were to appear only in the background, and several more such intricacies. They finally outstayed their welcome, and did not dare to ask any other questions, despite having much more they wanted to know (and we too, for that matter). After that we witnessed a tour along print shops which offered a similar picture, many but's and however's by the owners, all that in fear of the police shutting down their shop when apprehended.

An actual concert they were preparing was also interesting because of many obstacles to surmount while renting equipment, finding a concert location (finally wound up in the desert), transporting instruments and equipment to the place where the concert was to take place, offering many informative facts along the line. It gives a rough insight in the oppressiveness of Iranian society, something you won't notice as a tourist while wandering through one of the major cities. The movie defies what we derive from the superficial vision that shows Iran to us with all the appearances of a modern country, technically well advanced, with a streetscape not much different from ours. We are inclined to assume that the only thing that makes Iran stand out from an average Western country, is seeing women on the street with scarfs and many dressed in black.

Most of the movie's second half, in Zürich, was not interesting at all. The only relevant thing to report happened in the last scene, where they pack their belongings, check-out of their hotel, and get a cab to drive them to the airport. They seem fully prepared to return to Iran. Were they really in the mood to return to Iran, or not?? (no answer here because of spoilers). Even their mother, in a phone call, was hinting that staying in Zürich may be a good idea, which is indeed a difficult thing to say for a mother. All of this, condensed in the final minutes of the movie, offered food for thought, contrary to the rest of their stay in Zürich that was anecdotal at best.

All in all, apart from its first half plus the final scene, the movie was mildly interesting. The first half demonstrated unclear laws and regulations, intentionally left unclear as I learned from other Iranian movies. It's a country in a continuous state of transition, something unavoidable when hosting numerous cultural, linguistic and ethnic groups, as well as several religions. The latter counters our false notion that Islam is the one and only recognized religion in Iran. This diversity may however not apply to the countryside, but it is certainly a fact of life in the main cities. It makes any movie from Iran interesting, regardless of having passed the censors or being smuggled out of the country. I regret to say that this one is not the best showcase to enlighten us about Iran, possibly interesting for the music which does not match my taste so I ignored that.

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Persian | English | German

Release Date:

7 August 2016 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

A tomboló Irán See more »

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