The Image Formed

Previewing the 12th Austin Film Festival

Sounds of Silence

D: Amir Hamz, Mark Lazarz

In a country alienated from the rest of the world by governmental restrictions, music becomes a saving grace. Hamz and Lazarz's engrossing Sounds of Silence documents the maturing music industry in Tehran, Iran. For all alt-rock, rap, traditional, and "combined music," Iran's Ershad, the government organization that oversees cultural activities, must give permission for a band or musician to distribute albums or perform live concerts. Because of strict Islamic law, this is rarely done for contemporary music. However, nothing can stop the passion and forcefulness with which Iranian musicians create. Relying almost wholly on Web sites such as youth message board (kind of a Persian MySpace) and Internet magazine Tehran Avenue to get their music out, these musicians have employed a completely different perspective on music and the music industry, which is utterly creative and totally Iranian. Completely removed from all things Western, the Tehran music scene is blossoming despite all odds. – D.S.

10/19, 7pm, Arbor; 10/23, 9:15pm, Hideout

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