They’ve been making music together for years, despite the disapproval of the people around them. Akbar, Soori, Mohammed and Hakim are the only young immigrants in Iran who have formed a rock band, Arikain. All they miss now is an opportunity to play live. ‘The Forbidden Strings’, a multiple award winning documentary film by Hasan Noori, shows the musical struggle of the group to get themselves heard, and follows them in the run-up to a historic day.
A rock concert in the heart of Afghanistan, under the intolerant rule of the Taliban? In Bamyan, where once stood the giant Buddha statues for 15 centuries…until they were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001? This is the extremely hopeful endeavor that Arikain want to achieve, something that involves deadly risks, therefore it requires a great amount of courage and determination.
All four band members are children of Afghan parents who fled to Iran, and that means they face dangers if they return to their homeland. Their families are worried about them. The rockers promise to stay out of trouble when they go to Kabul for their show, but they realize what they’re up against soon after arriving. Clearly, Afghanistan is still a very dangerous place. Is there a way for them to reach their goal?
The moments of joy are infectious, but sobering reality is always lurking.
An honest film about four young people who have to break with tradition to express themselves.
A Creative Documentary by Hasan Noori
Produced by Afsaneh Salari & Hasan Noori
Production: Docmaniacs Collective
Iran, Afghanistan & Qatar
72’ | 4K | World Premiere: IDFA 2019
World sales: Docmaniacs
• Winner – Best Documentary, Royal Starr Film Festival 2021
• Special mention, Iranian International Documentary Film Festival: Cinema Verite 2019, Competition, Iran
• Best directing Afghanistan Lajevard Film Festival 2020, Competition, Afghanistan
• Emerging Filmmaker Award to the producer Afsaneh Salari (For both films The Forbidden Strings & The Silhouettes)