Till Schauder – When God Sleeps #SYSF2018

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12 min. and 46 sec.

A young Iranian musician has to seek refuge in Europe to escape from a fatwa for his music. An intense documentary on an intense life.

Play Podcast
12 min. and 46 sec.

PODCAST| Angelo Acerbi interviews Till Schauder, director of the documentary When God Sleeps.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Till Schauder tells us the story of When God Sleeps, a documentary about Shahin Najafi, a young Iranian singer and musician who was forced to flee his country to run away from life threats and a fatwa on his head, for his music and his lyrics. The movie was complex to make and the life of the main character made it even more difficult, as you can hear from the voice of the director.

When God Sleeps: “My songs did not make me famous. The fatwa did”. That’s what the Iranian musician Shahin Najafi says after being sentenced to death for blasphemy, exiled to Germany and forced to live in hiding. He is guilty of writing hip hop songs about delicate subjects such as censorship, theocracy and, most of all, violence and discrimination against women. After fleeing to Cologne, he will live an incredible adventure and the will even fall in love with the granddaughter of the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. A sort of modern-day Romeo and Juliet, in which the protagonist has to deal with a multifaceted music scene and threats to his life, while the danger he faces is always underestimated by the police. A story that highlights the intimate and existential sides of a battle against silence. Shahin Najafi is an example to all migrants and refugees who try to realise their hope for freedom, his only weapons being the lyrics of his songs, rich in poetic, literary and philosophical references, and his live concerts.

SEEYOUSOUND International Music Film Festival 2018, the first festival in Italy dedicated to international cinema with a musical theme, returns with the fourth edition, which will be held in Turin from 26 January to 4 February 2018, at the Cinema Massimo of the National Cinema Museum. There are 62 films scheduled in the 10 days of the festival, divided into 4 competitive sections, 2 out-of-competition reviews and 1 retrospective, accompanied by panels, meetings and events. With 1 international preview and 1 European preview and 27 Italian premieres, the festival increasingly aims to establish itself internationally, in the light of a path that has lasted four years and which, with passion and constancy, has led to the construction of a dense network of reports on the territory.

  • Reporter
    Angelo Acerbi
  • Guest
    Till Schauder
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    When God Sleeps
  • Festival section
    LongPlay Doc
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