When God Sleeps

    • Till Schauder
    • United States, Germany
    • 2017
    • 88 min
    • Dutch Premiere
    • Music Documentary
    After he addressed an imam in a song—which was taken as an insult—a fatwa was issued against the Iranian musician, poet, singer and activist Shahin Najafi in 2012. He travels from Turkey to Germany and settles in Cologne, where he now lives in fear: "sleeping with one eye open and with a knife under the pillow." Although Najafi is in constant danger, he continues to try to play music. When he adds fuel to the fire by releasing a new song about male domination in the Islamic world, the fatwa is issued again. Perhaps inevitably, this portrait of the "Salman Rushdie of rap" also covers issues such as terrorism, religion, repression, artistic protest and the refugee crisis.


    • 88 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: German, Farsi, English
    Till Schauder
    Sara Nodjoumi for Partner Pictures, Till Schauder for Partner Pictures
    Executive producer
    Lisa Chanoff for Catapult Film Fund, Bonni Cohen for Catapult Film Fund, Abigail Disney for Fork Films, Gini Reticker for Fork Films, Julie Goldman for Motto Pictures, Chris Clements for Motto Pictures
    ITVS (Corporation for Public Broadcasting)
    Till Schauder, Gerardo Milsztein

    IDFA history

    Dutch Premiere
    Music Documentary

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    IDFA history

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