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The Forbidden Strings

Fall Grants 2018 - Post-Production Stage

Hasan Noori / Feature Documentary / Afghanistan, Iran, Qatar / 2019 / 75 min / Original Language: Persian / Interests: Documentary, Music, Social Issues, Youth


During the day, they are labourers and do what most Afghan refugees do in Iran, which is carpentry and tailoring. But as night falls, they change clothes and transform to what they dream to be—rock stars. Hakim, Akbar, Mohammad and Soraya are among the second generation of three million Afghan refugees living in Iran since 1980s. Regardless of their refugee status and its limitations, they dared to dream and managed to form their rock band five years ago. Their dream was clear: their first rock concert should be in the motherland they have never seen, Afghanistan. The film follows the journey of the Arikain band from Iran to Afghanistan despite all odds. They have various obstacles to overcome, from traditional families who are vehemently against music, lack of financial means, to security issues inside Afghanistan. The road between Kabul to Bamyan festival is one of the most dangerous roads in Afghanistan, under the full control of the Taliban. The film follows the Arikain shoulder to shoulder, from the days they dream of a journey to their war-torn motherland, to the hectic and dangerous roads taking them to the music festival.


Hasan Noori
Afsaneh Salari, Hassan Noori
Afsaneh Salari, Hassan Noori
Production Company

About the Director

Hasan was born in Iran to Afghan parents. He studied sociology and worked as a social assistant for NGOs fighting child labour in Iran and mainly with Afghan refugee children. He primarily makes video clips and films that raise awareness for the Afghan community in Iran. Hasan has a master’s degree in Cinema from Tehran University. ‘The Forbidden Strings’ is Hasan’s first documentary feature. Hasan is also an Alumni of IDFA Summer School 2017 and Karlovy Vary Docs in progress 2018. He is currently working on his next documentary film, ‘The Songs of My Land’, which is now in development.

Awards and Festival History


IDFA 2019 (WP)


  • Main Contact

    Afsaneh Salari


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