Hot Docs 2016 Review: Raving Iran
The first film that this reviewer has encountered at Hot Docs that provides a “you are there” experience, Raving Iran let’s the viewer sidle up to Anoosh & Arash as the pair, billed as Blade & Beard, undergo all of the pregressions of a rave, which is illegal in Iran.
While their pursuit is admirable and in most cases, exciting, the film by Susanne Regina Meures takes place mainly in the cover of darkness.
While this feeling of a cover of darkness adds to a sense of authenticity, (and, one presumes, creates a metaphor for the sense of treatment that a rave will receive), it does not enhance the experience.
In fact, like one would imagine experiencing a rave secondhand would be like, the sensation of sitting in the theatre with Raving Iran grows wearisome.
Quite like the protagonists, viewers will start to be tired out very quickly. That is, until a surprising coda plays out, which serves to salvage the experience. Just make sure that you can make it until then.