Tuesday 5 August 2014

Turtles Can Fly [2004]

Turtles Can Fly, directed by Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi, provided a tragic picture of the absurdities, ironies and heartbreaks that are thrust upon any society by a state of war. The film derived its strength from its simplicity and flaws, and from the fact that it comprised of local, non-professional actors, with most of them being kids. Set in a small, impoverished and neglected Kurdish village and refugee camp at the Iraqi-Turkish border, the film precluded the events leading up to US invasion of Iraq in what is referred to as the 2nd Gulf War. Satellite (Soran Ebrahim), known so for his love of technology, is a gangly, enterprising and orphaned 13-year old guy and the self-anointed leader of all the kids there. Apart from trying to fix up make-shift satellite dishes, he also directs his fellow orphaned kids for sweeping off of landmines there which are then sold in the black market. Two events, occurring nearly in parallel, take centre-stage in the story – he manages to procure a dish antenna from Baghdad so that the villagers can keep track of the news of Bush’s anticipated invasion of the country in what ends up changing all their lives forever; meanwhile he finds himself falling for Agrin (Avaz Latif), a young, melancholic, soft-spoken and orphaned refugee girl, who’s moved in to the camp with her disabled but protective brother Hengov (Hiresh Feysal Rahman) and a toddler she always carries with her. Her sad face, soft nature and reticent nature towards others mask the haunting memories of a devastating past that has left her scarred forever. Past, present and future, thus, seamlessly coalesced to make this a deeply humanistic tale, more so given all the war-mongering around us.

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Genre: Drama/War Drama
Language: Kurdish
Country: Iran/Iraq

1 comment:

the sayer of the truth said...

Shubhajit, isn`t the phrase "Iraqi cinema" a bit like saying "democratic dictatorship", its a ludicrous contradiction in terms by definition. True cinema is only able to exist where there is freedom of speech ! ! !.