When God Sleeps

When God Sleeps depicts the journey of Iranian musician Shahin Najafi who is forced into hiding after hardline clerics issue a fatwa for his death, incensed by a rap song that focuses on the oppression of women, sexism and human rights abuses.

“My songs didn’t make me famous. The fatwa did.” And so we embark on the journey of rapper Shahin Najafi, whose bold style and transgressive lyrics put him in the crosshairs of religious clerics in his native Iran. When God Sleeps tells the story of this tireless artist-activist against the backdrop of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and the global right-wing backlash against Middle Eastern refugees. Shahin’s escape leads to an impossible romance when he falls in love with the granddaughter of the first Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. With such family backgrounds, Shahin and Leili become a modern day Romeo & Juliet, caught in the storm of Europe’s refugee crisis, rising Trumpism and global uneasiness about the increasingly brutal clash between art and religion.



“Portrays in ma fresh, close-up and dynamic way the energy of a socially marginalized young woman in today’s Egypt.”

Film Prize for International Cooperation, Robert Bosch Stiftung

Premieres & Awards

World Premiere

Tribeca Film Festival 2017

Winner, Most Valuable Documentary

Cinema for Peace