Half Moon - 2006

Directed by Bahman Ghobadi

Mamo (Ismail Ghaffari), a legendary Kurdish musician, gathers his twelve sons and sets out for the border between Iranian and Iraqi Kurdistan so the group can perform at a "freedom" concert in Iraq. The concert would mark the first performance of traditional Kurdish music in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein who had banned Kurdish music during his reign. The historic event is so important to Mamo, whose health is fading, that he ignores premonitions of his own death to venture on with his sons, who are themselves reluctant to make the journey.

Color, 1 hour 47 minutes, Kurdish/Farsi

Original Title: Niwemang

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

Star Rating


Firouzan Rank # 33

Cast


Ismail Ghaffari Mamo
Ollah Morad Rashtiani Kako
Farzin Sabouni  
Kambiz Arshi  
Mohammad Nahid  
Sadiq Behzadpour Shouan
Ali Ashraf Rezaii  
Reza Haj Khosravi  
Bahram Zarei  
Hediyeh Tehrani Hesho
Golshifteh Farahani Niwemang
Hassan Pour Shirazi Border Policeman
Shole Ghorbani  
Fouad Pishva  
Saber Delbina  
Jalal Babazadeh  
Hossein Khani  
Faegh Mohammadi Faegh
Mohammad Khoshabrou  
Mohammad Mirzaei  
Shokat Karimi  

Crew


Writer Bahman Ghobadi
Behnam Behzadi
Director Bahman Ghobadi
Producer Bahman Ghobadi
Director of Photography Nigel Bluck
Crighton Bone
Sound Recordist Bahman Ardalan
Production Designer Mansoureh Yazdanjou
Bahman Ghobadi
Editor Hayedeh Safiyari
Sound Mixer Massoud Behnam
Hamid Naghibi
Music Hossein Ali Zadeh

Pictures


The musician and his sons cover most of the territory in a borrowed school bus driven by the incompetent but well-meaning driver Kako, played by now Ghobadi-regular Ollah Morad Rashtiani.

The musician and his sons cover most of the territory in a borrowed school bus driven by the incompetent but well-meaning driver Kako, played by now Ghobadi-regular Ollah Morad Rashtiani.

Mamo the musician (Ismail Ghaffari), who often takes to lying in open graves, is haunted by visions of his own demise.

Mamo the musician (Ismail Ghaffari), who often takes to lying in open graves, is haunted by visions of his own demise.

The Half Moon.

The Half Moon.

Mamo's sole daughter Senour teaches a group of transplanted students made homeless by flooding. She has recently fallen ill and unable to travel with her family, which denies the band a crucially needed female voice.

Mamo's sole daughter Senour teaches a group of transplanted students made homeless by flooding. She has recently fallen ill and unable to travel with her family, which denies the band a crucially needed female voice.

Kako looks on in disbelief as Mamo uses an unconventional method to halt one of his son's escape. Not all of his sons are enthusiastic abut the dangers involved with successfully crossing the border into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Kako looks on in disbelief as Mamo uses an unconventional method to halt one of his son's escape. Not all of his sons are enthusiastic abut the dangers involved with successfully crossing the border into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Playing some music to pass time on the bus.

Playing some music to pass time on the bus.

One of Mamo's sons relays a warning from the local wise man against taking the trip, 'something bad will happen on the 14th night of the lunar moon.'

One of Mamo's sons relays a warning from the local wise man against taking the trip, "something bad will happen on the 14th night of the lunar moon."

Memo makes a stop at the 'place where 1,334 woman singers have been exiled' to pick up the group's female singer and his personal muse Hesho (Hediyeh Tehrani).

Memo makes a stop at the "place where 1,334 woman singers have been exiled" to pick up the group's female singer and his personal muse Hesho (Hediyeh Tehrani).

Mamo and his sons have several run-ins with the Iranian border patrol.

Mamo and his sons have several run-ins with the Iranian border patrol.

When Mamo's health fails he is helped by the mysterious Niwemang (Golshifteh Farahani).

When Mamo's health fails he is helped by the mysterious Niwemang (Golshifteh Farahani).

DVD


Half Moon DVD Case

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External Reviews


By Jeannette Catsoulis The New York Times

For his poetic fourth feature, "Half Moon," the Kurdish-Iranian writer and director Bahman Ghobadi returns to the breathtaking desolation of the Kurdish borderlands and the enduring optimism of his people.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, Mamo (Ismail Ghaffari), a famed Kurdish musician living in Iran, gathers his many sons for a trip across the border to Iraqi Kurdistan and a long-planned celebratory concert. Despite failing health and his offspring's fluctuating commitment to the dangerous enterprise, Mamo is resolute; neither callous border guards nor his own recurring premonitions of disaster will derail the performance. Continued



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