A Time for Drunken Horses - 2000

Directed by Bahman Ghobadi

Ayoub (Ayoub Ahmadi), an orphaned Kurdish child, smuggles contraband across the Iran/Iraq border in order to support his siblings. He goes to great lengths to raise money for his disabled brother Madi (Madi Ekhtiar Dini) who is in dire need of surgery. This film marks the first feature-length Iranian movie shot entirely in the Kurdish language and represents the first of director Bahman Ghobadi's films on the people of Kurdistan.

Color, 1 hour 20 minutes, Farsi/Kurdish

Original Title: Zamani Bara-ye Masti-ye Asbha

Trailer currently not available, Watch Scene (Kurdish w/English subtitles)

Star Rating


Firouzan Rank # 26

Cast


Ayoub Ahmadi Ayoub
Rojin Younessi Rojin
Amaneh Ekhtiar Dini Amaneh
Madi Ekhtiar Dini Madi

Crew


Writer Bahman Ghobadi
Director Bahman Ghobadi
Producer Bahman Ghobadi
Director of Photography Saied Nikzat
Sound Recordist Mortazi Dehnavi
Mehdi Darabi
Production Designer Omid Rastbin
Editor Samad Tavazoii
Sound Mixer Massoud Behnam
Mahmoud Moussavinejhad
Music Hossein Ali Zadeh

Pictures


Even children don't make it across the border without being searched.

Even children don't make it across the border without being searched.

Ayuob (Ayuob Ahmadi) and his siblings are taken care for by their sometimes domineering uncle.

Ayoub (Ayoub Ahmadi) and his siblings are taken care for by their sometimes domineering uncle.

Amaneh (Amaneh Ekhtiar-dini) visits her parents' grave.

Amaneh (Amaneh Ekhtiar Dini) visits her parents' grave.

Before a smuggling run, the pack mules are given alcohol so they can navigate mountainous terrain.

Before a smuggling run, the pack mules are given alcohol so they can navigate mountainous terrain.

Young Madi (Madi Ekhtiar-dini) stares at the present Ayuob bought for him in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Young Madi (Madi Ekhtiar Dini) stares at the present Ayoub bought for him in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The children's uncle agrees to marry off Rojin to a family from the Iraqi side of the border so long as they take Madi as well.

The children's uncle agrees to marry off Rojin to a family from the Iraqi side of the border so long as they take Madi as well.

Rojin (Rojin Younessi) goes along with the marriage plan for Madi's sake, he is in dire need of surgery available in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Rojin (Rojin Younessi) goes along with the marriage plan for Madi's sake, he is in dire need of surgery available in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The wedding train.

The wedding train.

Ayuob is displeased with his uncle's decision.

Ayoub is displeased with his uncle's decision.

Madi looks on as Rojin's new family reneges on their agreement, instead of taking in Madi they give a mule as dowry.

Madi looks on as Rojin's new family reneges on their agreement, instead of taking in Madi they give a mule as dowry.

Ayuob puts his family's new mule to work joining up with smugglers in hopes of finally taking Madi to Iraqi Kurdistan for surgery.

Ayoub puts his family's new mule to work joining up with smugglers in hopes of finally taking Madi to Iraqi Kurdistan for surgery.

DVD


DVD box art currently not available

External Reviews


By A.O. Scott The New York Times

Bahman Ghobadi's "A Time for Drunken Horses" is the latest Iranian film to deal with the lives of children. The film takes place in a wintry, mountainous Kurdish area near the Iraqi border, where the main livelihood seems to be smuggling goods by mule across valleys strewn with land mines and menaced by bandits and military patrols.

Ayoub, the eldest boy in a family of five children orphaned early in the film by a mine, tries to provide for his brothers and sisters in these almost unendurably harsh circumstances. The film -- slow, bleak and terribly moving -- follows his attempt to obtain medical treatment for his severely handicapped brother, Madi, who will die without an operation. Continued

By Peter Rainer New York Magazine

Bahman Ghobadi, the young Iranian whose first feature is "A Time for Drunken Horses," has a marvelous eye for children's faces. He brings out not only their innocence but also their preternatural gravity. At times, you feel as if you could look into one of these faces and see the whole life that will be imprinted upon it. Continued



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