When God Sleeps
Monday, 02.10., 8:00 p.m., Cinecittà, Q&A with Till Schauder
The Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi has been described as the Salman Rushdie of music. A death fatwa was issued against him in 2012 for the song “Naghi”, in which he spoke up against the oppression of women and human rights violations. Iran's hardline clerics took offense. The difference with Salman Rushdie is that he was still able to write in hiding: Najafi risks his life every time he performs live.
WHEN GOD SLEEPS intelligently interweaves Najafi's personal story with the larger historical and political context, giving an intimate insight into the musician's life. Far from his family and friends, he tries to build a life for himself in Cologne, Germany. But nothing is easy in exile. The German police refuse to consider the fatwa a genuine threat, and paradoxically Najafi falls in love with the granddaughter of the first prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Till Schauder is a German filmmaker based in Brooklyn. He made his U.S. debut with the feature Santa Smokes, which won Best Director at Tokyo, and the Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award. His first documentary, The Iran Job, was released worldwide and nominated for Best Documentary Feature at Los Angeles 2013.