'The Independent Music Show Magazine' September 2018 - Page 23

The Forbidden Strings documentary follows the intimate journey of four young Afghan refugees and musicians who aspire to make a dream come true: their first rock concert in war-torn Afghanistan

During the day, they are Afghan refugee laborers. They work as carpenters and tailors in Tehran, two of the most common jobs for Afghan refugees in Iran. But as the night falls, they get together in their remote studio out of Tehran, away from the eyes of their religious families, in order to practice what they dream to be: rock stars.

The forbidden strings is a documentary by an Afghan refugee filmmaker living in Iran. He met his protagonists years ago, where they first started learning how to play music all on their own. Their families were strictly against music as conservative muslims. “Music is unclean. It takes the blessing away from the family.” or they would encourage them to continue working instead of daydreaming about art. “You should work hard and save up to create a family. Don’t waste your time.”

Despite all the obstacles, they managed to continue rehearsing together and started nurturing a dream for their concert. They had never seen Afghanistan — they were born and raised in Iran from Afghan parents but due to the law on citizenship, they remain refugees nonetheless. That’s why they decided to perform their first and only concert in Afghanistan. Performing a concert in the beautiful region of “Bamyan” and in front of the massive ruins of Buddhas which were bombed by Taliban a few years ago, seemed very symbolic and inspiring.

The filmmaker and the crew accompanied them through this dream. Yet, nobody thought that Taliban would still be a threat and in order to reach Bamyan from Kabul, they have to pass through Taliban check points. Where else in the world a concert would be risky as it was for the Arikain band?

The shooting of the film finished last year. The film crew is now running a crowdfunding campaign in order to fund their post-production and deliver a high quality film that aspires to inspire artists and more importantly, refugee artists. How far are we ready to comprise for our dreams?

If you’re inspired by this documentary, don’t hesitate to support and donate. These young dreamers need a collective push from all of us all.

A documentary by Hasan Noori

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