Screen/Society--Tropes of Home: Films from the Middle East--"Turtles Can Fly" (2004 Kurdish film)
Film Screening -- "Turtles Can Fly" (Bahman Ghobadi, 2005, 98 min, Iran/France/Iraq, in Kurdish with English subtitles, Color, DVD). -- "Turtles Can Fly" is the third feature from internationally acclaimed Kurdish Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi ("A Time For Drunken Horses"). Written, directed and produced by Ghobadi, the film features of cast of local non-actor children, and is set in Ghobadi's native Kurdistan on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq. Thirteen-year-old Soran is known as "Satellite," for his installation of dishes and antennae for local villages looking for news of Saddam. He is the dynamic leader of the children, organizing the dangerous but necessary sweeping and clearing of the minefields. The devastation to this land and its inhabitants is revealed in the matter-of-fact perspective of the children and is equally displayed with every poignant detail of its unbearable nature. The exquisitely haunting mountains play backdrop to violence and tragedy, but at the same time the heart and humor of the children is an undeniable force. -- "Turtles Can Fly" was Iran's entry to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film in 2004, and won the Golden Shell at San Sebastian, the Silver Bear at Chicago, and the Peace Film award at Berlin. -- Part of the "Tropes of Home: Films from the Middle East" series.