Sep 12, 2007

Turtles Can Fly (2004)

Turtles Can Fly (Kurdish: Kûsiyan jî dikarin bifirin [1], Persian: لاک پشت ها هم پرواز می کنند) is a 2004 film written and directed by the kurdish Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi. It was the first film to be made in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The film is set in a Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq. Thirteen-year-old Kak (played by Soran Ebrahim) is known as "Satellite" for his installation of dishes and antennae for local villages looking for news of Saddam Hussein. He is the dynamic but also cowardly, bullying and manipulative leader of the children, organizing the dangerous but necessary sweeping and clearing of the minefields.

He then arranges trade-ins for the unexploded mines. The industrious Satellite falls for an unlikely orphan named Agrin (Avaz Latif), a sad-faced girl traveling with her disabled but smart brother Henkov, who appears to have the gift of clairvoyance. The siblings are care-taking a three-year-old, whose connection to the pair is discovered as harsh truths are revealed.

The question is, what happened to these children? There are so many, will the occupation make their lives better or worse? How could it get worse?


1. Glass Bear, Best Feature Film and Peace Film Award, Berlin International Film Festival, 2005.
2. Golden Seashell, Best Film, San Sebastián International Film Festival, 2004.
3. Special Jury Award, Chicago International Film Festival, 2004.
4. International Jury and Audience Awards, São Paulo International Film Festival, 2004.
5. La Pieza Award, Best Film, Mexico City International Contemporary Film Festival, 2005.
6. Audience Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival, 2005.
7. Golden Prometheus, Best Film, Tbilisi International Film Festival, 2005.
8. Aurora Award, Tromsø International Film Festival, 2005.
9. Golden Butterfly, Isfahan International Festival of Films for Children, 2004.
10. Gold Dolphin, Festróia - Tróia International Film Festival, 2005

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