Playing Sufi Music in a City that Forbids It
World Premiere of the Documentary Film The Band at the Oran International Arabic Film Festival
Iraqi director Albaqer Jafeer's documentary film The Band lands its world premiere at the 10th edition of the Oran International Arabic Film Festival (25-31 July) where it competes within the Official Competition of the Documentary Films. This comes in coincidence with releasing the film's official trailer by MAD Solutions.
The film tells the story of a band of six musicians who are saving no efforts to fulfill their dream of playing Sufi music in their hometown, Sadr city in Iraq. They only face one dilemma which lies in the fact that they can get murdered for playing music in a city where music is forbidden. In 67 minutes, the film follows the band members as they open up to the film's director, Albaqer Jafeer, on their dreams, aspirations and the reality in which they find themselves.
Written and directed by Albaqer Jafeer, The Band will be distributed in the Arab world by MAD Solutions. About Hulm Band, the main core of the film, Albaqer Jafeer comments, "The band that was born in that music- forbidden city in this time, is not an ephemeral band or a temporary project of a group of music loving young people. Their struggle and determination made me want to present them cinematically, through searching their story, and the surrounding ones such as the city, their country, and their dream to have a concert inside their city."
Jafeer continues, "Learning the story of these young eastern musicians, risking their lives and time that may go all in vain, will help them overcome their ordeal. It might even help me find the identity of my generation, or mine. Should I look for the young fighter? Or should I look for the young Tambourine player in Sadir City? Who is the one that I want to know his story? I searched for music in this city and I only found old voices and artists, whose voices are not heard anymore while others left the city."
Albaqar Jafeer is an Iraqi director who studied filmmaking at the Iraqi Independent Film Center in 2009. Later on, Jafeer participated in filmmaking workshops inside and outside Baghdad where he studied screenwriting, directing, editing and production management. Albaqar Jafeer's filmography includes the short documentary film Rafa't Alam (Rising the Flag) and Ghorbat Ghajar (Strangeness of the Gypsies) and the experimental film 50mm Lens. The Band is Jafeer's debut feature documentary film.