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)
Firouzan Rank # 8
|Soran Ebrahim||Soran "Satellite"|
|Hiresh Feysal Rahman||Hengov|
|Abdol Rakman Karim||Riga|
|Saddam Hossein Fasal||Pashow|
|Director of Photography||Shahriar Asadi|
|Sound Recordist||Bahman Bani Ardelan|
|Production Designer||Omid Rastbin|
|Sound Mixer||Massoud Behnam
|Music||Hossein Ali Zadeh|
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.
A newcomer to the village, Hengov, no stranger to the danger of mine fields, is rumored to have the ability to predict the future.
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.
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.
American choppers drop leaflets describing their "brotherly" intentions.
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.
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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