2017, USA/Germany, 88 min
Director: Till Schauder
Producer: Sara Nodjoumi
The Iranian musician Shahin Najafi got issued a fatwa against himself in 2012, when he wrote a song that directly addressed an imam. When we meet him in the film, he lives in Germany and continues to play concerts and publish regime critical songs on YouTube, in spite of great security measures. By constantly changing his appearance using makeup, hair dye, various hats, scarfs and forms of facial hair, Shahin never stands still.
He has been called “the Salman Rushdie of rap” and in When God Sleeps we get an insight into what it´s like to live with the fatwa in the attempt to go unnoticed while simultaneously fighting publicly for freedom of speech. At a time when satire is a disputed concept and the world tumbles around Charlie Hebdo, terror attacks and the refugee crisis, When God Sleeps tells a story less told.