The art of survival

Documentary, in production, 2024

A musical journey with Majid Derakhshani and the women’s ensemble Māhbānoo.

The Māhbānoo ensemble’s concerts in Germany are a risk for the musicians, as women have been banned from singing in public in Iran since the founding of the Islamic Republic. Although this rule has been relaxed for performances abroad, the musicians remain exposed to a certain risk that can be felt behind the scenes.

Under the leadership of the renowned musician and composer Majid Derakhshani the musicians meet their audience in Germany and demonstrate their art.

Majid Derakhshani was banned from leaving his home and working in his profession years ago because of his public singing with women and emigrated to Germany. Here he founded the Nawa Music Center in Cologne, driven by a tireless determination to keep the centuries-old tradition of Iranian music alive. His many years of experience and his deep understanding of the musical tradition of Iran inspire musicians worldwide.

“Art of Survival” provides an insight into the creative process behind the music of the Māhbānoo Ensemble and the special nature of Persian music to forge a unique connection with its audience. The film shows the challenges and obstacles faced by the ensemble, while paying tribute to their courage to persevere despite all obstacles.