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No Land's Song

2014 DOK Leipzig, Doc German Competition, Film Prize "Leipziger Ring"
Germany, France | 2014 | 90 min. | English, Farsi, French | English subtitles | European Premiere
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No Land's Song | No Land's Song

“The female voice is fading away.” Iranian composer Sara Najafi’s statement must be taken literally, for the Islamic revolution of 1979 banned female singers from appearing in public in Iran. They are not allowed to perform solo any more, unless to an exclusively female audience. Recordings of former female icons can only be bought on the black market. What a grievous loss. But Sara is determined to refresh the cultural memory by roaming Teheran in the footsteps of famous singers of the 1920s and 60s and is about to revive the female voices in the present: she courageously plans an evening of Iranian and French soloists to rebuild shattered cultural bridges.
A concert that’s not allowed to take place. For two and a half years, director Ayat Najafi, who lives in Berlin today and shows a flair for the right scene, follows the preparations between Teheran and Paris that are always touch and go. What’s still possible, what goes too far? Sara’s regular audiences at the Ministry of Culture shed light on the interior logic and arbitrariness of the system, though they can only be heard (always to a black screen). Can intercultural solidarity and the revolutionary power of music accomplish anything here? A political thriller and at the same time a musical journey, this film never loses sight of its real centre: the female voice.
Lars Meyer
Original Title: No Land's Song
Country: Germany, France
Year: 2014
Language: English, Farsi, French
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 90 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Ayat Najafi
Producer: Gunter Hanfgarn, Rouven Rech, Teresa Renn, Anne Grange
Cinematographer: Koohyar Kalari, Sarah Blum
Editor: Julia Wiedwald, Schokofeh Kamiz
Sound: Sasan Nakhai, Dana Farzanehpour, Julien Brossier
Script: Ayat Najafi
Gunter Hanfgarn

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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.