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To Be and Not to Be; het Teheran Filharmonisch Orkest

Short documentary, 2009, 55 min.

The Iranian composer and conductor Nader Mashayekhi knows that in his native country music is considered secondary to the spoken word. Persians are not used to listening to abstract sounds. Which is odd for a country with so many deserts, hence silence. Because if you are aware of the silence, it is easier to actually hear sounds, Mashayekhi thinks. In the nearly thirty years he worked in Vienna, he developed a profound knowledge of Western music. But the ardour was kindled when he was still a kid. Since he first heard Bach's St. John Passion, he dreamt of staging it in Teheran. In To Be and Not To Be, we see how he founds a philharmonic orchestra in the Iranian capital, also performing Western compositions - like the St. John Passion. His father, a remarkable man who recites one poem after the other, is afraid it will put his son in trouble. But Mashayekhi lives to create something that did not exist before. Making the impossible possible is the best thing there is.





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