WATCH: Iran's Queen of Pop's New Queer Music Video

2.19.2014

By Matthew Breen

The new music video from Googoosh displays a dangerous solidarity with Iran's gays and lesbians

Googoosh, Iran’s top pop diva, is taking a huge risk with the music video for her new song, "Behesht" ("Heaven"). Its video, released on her Facebook page on Valentine’s Day, is a protest against her country’s repressive laws and attitudes towards relationships between people of the same sex.
The video portrays a relationship, a happy couple who face disdain from family and harassment in public, and which is ultimately revealed to be between two women.

According to The Guardian, “Navid Akhavan, who wrote and directed the video, said it had been viewed by thousands of Iranians online or via illegal satellite channels.” The tally on just two sites is over 1.2 million views.

"The reactions we have seen so far have been tremendous," he said. "The comments I have read online and the messages I have received from people within the Iranian LGBT community have brought tears to my eyes. We knew from the start that because of its topic the video is going to be very controversial among Iranians, that's why we expected negative feedback too, but that hasn't bothered me, nor Ms. Googoosh."

The predictable backlash has appeared on conservative sites in Iran. Googoosh has been called an “antirevoltionary” by Enghelab News and a promoter of “hideous” acts by Kheybar Online.

Though Googoosh refused to leave Iran when many other entertainers did in the 1979 Islamic revolution, she did leave in 2000. Recently she has hosted a talent show called "Googoosh Academy, an X Factor-style show on Manoto TV, a London-based channel run by Iranian exiles,” according to The Guardian.

This is an English translation of the lyrics, from the YouTube page:

I fear this misleading road of doubt
I fear this dead end road
I am afraid of this feeling
that is still persistent between us

The end of this road is not clear
I know this, just like you do
Don't tell me to stop loving
You can't do that and I can't either
We can't go back to where we were
And we can't find a way out of this dead-end
I know (they say) these feelings
should not be, but they are

I am beginning to be afraid of a dream
A dream we both might have dreamed
About the fact that we both
rotated anticlockwise
For escaping from this hell
there is no other way than to end this life
I don't know but maybe even heaven
is not big enough for us

The end of this road is not clear
I know this, just like you do
Don't tell me to stop loving
You can't do that and I can't either
We can't go back to where we were
And we can't find a way out of this dead-end
I know (they say) these feelings
should not be, but they are

Tags: Music
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