Turtles Can Fly - 2005

Directed by Bahman Ghobadi

A group of Kurdish children along the Iraq-Turkey border make a living by collecting mines and mortar shells as rumors spread of the impending US-led invasion.

Color, 1 hour 37 minutes, Kurdish

Original Title: Lockposhtha Ham Parvaz Mikonand

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

Star Rating


Firouzan Rank # 8

Cast


Soran Ebrahim Soran "Satellite"
Hiresh Feysal Rahman Hengov
Avaz Latif Agrin
Abdol Rakman Karim Riga
Saddam Hossein Fasal Pashow
Ajill Zibari Shirkooh

Crew


Writer Bahman Ghobadi
Director Bahman Ghobadi
Producer Hamid Ghavami
Batin Ghobadi
Hamid Karimi
Babak Amini
Director of Photography Shahriar Asadi
Sound Recordist Bahman Bani Ardelan
Production Designer Omid Rastbin
Editor Mostafa Kherghehpoush
Hayedeh Safiyari
Sound Mixer Massoud Behnam
Hamid Naghibi
Music Hossein Ali Zadeh

Pictures


The reception offered by this array of antennas is insufficient to gain news of the coming war.

The reception offered by this array of antennas is insufficient to gain news of the coming war.

The De Facto leader of the orphan children, Soran (Soran Ebrahim) or 'Satellite' as he is known, is skilled in many areas from mechanics to translation.

The De Facto leader of the orphan children, Soran (Soran Ebrahim) or "Satellite" as he is known, is skilled in many areas from mechanics to translation.

A newcomer to the village, Hengov, no stranger to the danger of mine fields, is rumored to have the ability to predict the future.

A newcomer to the village, Hengov, no stranger to the danger of mine fields, is rumored to have the ability to predict the future.

Hengev's sister, Agrin (Avaz Latif), watches nervously as he dismantles the mine with his mouth.

Hengov's sister, Agrin (Avaz Latif), watches nervously as he dismantles the mine with his mouth.

After Satellite persuades the town to purchase an actual satellite, he and his 'kids' are charged with the install.

After Satellite persuades the town to purchase an actual satellite, he and his "kids" are charged with the install.

The village elders avert their view when Satellite accidentally flips through the 'forbidden' channels.

The village elders avert their view when Satellite accidentally flips through the "forbidden" channels.

Ever the expert, Satellite demonstrates the proper way to don a gas mask.

Ever the expert, Satellite demonstrates the proper way to don a gas mask.

American choppers drop leaflets describing their 'brotherly' intentions.

American choppers drop leaflets describing their "brotherly" intentions.

Shirkooh (Ajill Zibari) presents Satellite with a unique gift - one of Saddam's statue's arms.

Shirkooh (Ajill Zibari) presents Satellite with a unique gift - one of Saddam's statue's arms.

Pashow (Saddam Hossein Fasal) and Satellite witness the advance of the US military machine.

Pashow (Saddam Hossein Fasal) and Satellite witness the advance of the US military machine.

DVD


Turtles Can Fly DVD Case

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External Reviews


By A.O. Scott The New York Times

"Turtles Can Fly" is the third feature film that Bahman Ghobadi, a Kurdish director from Iran, has made about the suffering and resilience of his people, who have the bad luck to live spread across the often volatile borders of several nation-states, including Turkey and Iraq.

While the status of the Kurdish nation remains perilous, Mr. Ghobadi has set out to give the Kurds a national cinema, and to bring their traditions and their language, as well as their troubles, to the attention of global audiences. Continued

By Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid

Kurdish/Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi gravitates towards stories of the wastelands between big cities and big wars; he's more interested in the wretched effects of such things as they trickle down, unnoticed, to the edges. While his previous two films, "A Time for Drunken Horses" and "Marooned in Iraq," were highly accomplished works, they still had a certain distance to them. With his third effort, Ghobadi has bridged that distance and delivered his most heartbreakingly touching and profoundly humanist film, "Turtles Can Fly," already one of the year's best films. Most of the action takes place in a small village where the children have long ago left childhood behind and learned to fend for themselves. One such child, called Satellite (Soran Ebrahim), has established himself as a leader and negotiates with adults on behalf of the children. They work disarming the minefields and selling the explosives for cash. Satellite also helps to hook up satellite televisions for the village chiefs so that they can stay up-to-date on Bush and the looming war. Continued

By Donnie Saxton Beyond Hollywood

If you are looking for yet another opinion on the propriety of the Iraq war, you won’t find it in the first film from Iraq since the war began. "Turtles Can Fly," the gritty and compelling movie by director Bahman Ghobadi seeks not to lecture but to educate viewers about the realities of a place that sparks so much division. Instead of taking a political side, Ghobadi prefers the human side and uses the amazing story of a few individuals as a porthole to view a larger, immensely more complex picture. As he educates, Ghobadi also illuminates a much forgotten but immutable truth: the greatest suffering of any international crisis is always born by the children. Continued



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