During the war between Iran and Iraq, a group of Iranian Kurd musicians set off on an almost impossible mission. They will try to find Hanareh, a singer with a magic voice who crossed the ...
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Mamo, an old and legendary Kurdish musician living in Iran, plans to give one final concert in Iraqi Kurdistan. After seven months of trying to get a permit and rounding up his ten sons, he... See full summary »
Itinerant Kurdish teachers, carrying blackboards on their backs, look for students in the hills and villages of Iran, near the Iraqi border during the Iran-Iraq war. Said falls in with a ... See full summary »
Kurdish-Iranian poet Sahel has just been released from a thirty-year prison sentence in Iran. Now the one thing keeping him going is the thought of finding his wife, who thinks him dead for over twenty years.
When an ostrich-rancher focuses on replacing his daughter's hearing aid, which breaks right before crucial exams, everything changes for a struggling rural family in Iran. Karim motorbikes ... See full summary »
Mohammad Amir Naji,
A film comprised of three interconnected vignettes that depict women at three stages of life in Iran. The first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is told that she can ... See full summary »
In a remote, isolated Yazidi Kurdish village in post-Soviet Armenia, Hamo, a widower with a pitiful pension and three worthless sons, travels daily to his wife's grave. There he meets the ... See full summary »
During the war between Iran and Iraq, a group of Iranian Kurd musicians set off on an almost impossible mission. They will try to find Hanareh, a singer with a magic voice who crossed the border and may now be in danger in the Iraqi Kurdistan. As in his previous films, this Kurdish director is again focusing on the oppression of his people. Written by
up and out
I went to see this at a festival as a good-for-you topical film - kind of like eating brussels sprouts or something (apologies to those for whom brussels sprouts are a particular favorite). The filmmaker is an Iranian Kurd, and the film involves a journey from Iranian Kurdistan into Iraq.
Much to my surprise, it inspires a fair amount of laughter even in the context of extreme difficulties: a tent refugee camp for orphans in knee-deep mountain snow; voices and faces (never shown, but instead hidden in shame) disfigured by chemical weapons attacks and so on. These are present simply as part of the story's background, rather than like the shrill preachiness more typically seen on U.S. television news reports. Though I suppose one can't really fault journalists for being intensely serious when reporting on that part of the world.
The story is slim: someone is looking for something. They don't find it (her actually), but find other things which turn out to be of value. The man and his two (grown) sons have a larger-than-life bluster and recurring pratfalls which are a bit reminiscent of the Three Stooges. Laughter is good medicine, and these people have certainly earned the right to a heavy dose thereof. One example of the silliness: Our three travelers have their motorbike, clothes and musical instruments stolen by highway bandits disguised as police. Later, they get a ride on a truck and encounter two guys running through the snow in pastel-colored long undies and handcuffed together. They turn up a few times, always claiming to be cops but no one believes them, and they can't get any help.
Overall, an unexpected pleasure. Worth seeing.
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