Turtles Can Fly (2004)
"Lakposhtha parvaz mikonand" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, War  |  23 February 2005 (France)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 12,580 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 87 user | 93 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

Near the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of an American invasion, refugee children like 13-year-old Kak (Ebrahim), gauge and await their fate.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

23 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Young Iranian Kurds (brothers and sisters) try to save the youngest of them, who is seriously ill.

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Ayoub Ahmadi, Rojin Younessi, Amaneh Ekhtiar-dini
Half Moon (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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 »

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Ismail Ghaffari, Allah-Morad Rashtian, Farzin Sabooni
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Shahab Ebrahimi, Faegh Mohamadi, Allah-Morad Rashtian
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Iranian musicians Negar and Ashkan look for band members to play at a London concert - and the visas that allow them to leave Tehran to do so.

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad
Baran (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In a building site in present-day Tehran, Lateef, a 17-year-old Turkish worker is irresistibly drawn to Rahmat, a young Afghan worker. The revelation of Rahmat's secret changes both their lives.

Director: Majid Majidi
Stars: Hossein Abedini, Zahra Bahrami, Mohammad Amir Naji
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Majid Majidi
Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Maryam Akbari, Kamran Dehghan
Rhino Season (2012)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Behrouz Vossoughi, Monica Bellucci, Yilmaz Erdogan
Blackboards (2000)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf
Stars: Said Mohamadi, Behnaz Jafari, Bahman Ghobadi
The Circle (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Various women struggle to function in the oppressively sexist society of contemporary Iran.

Director: Jafar Panahi
Stars: Maryiam Palvin Almani, Nargess Mamizadeh, Mojgan Faramarzi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An Iranian man drives his truck in search of someone who will quietly bury him under a cherry tree after he commits suicide.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Stars: Homayoun Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari
Hamoun (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Hamoon's wife is leaving him. He is also unsuccessfully trying to finish his Ph.D. thesis. He is forced to reexamine his life. In a series of flashbacks and dreams, Hamoon tries to figure ... See full summary »

Director: Dariush Mehrjui
Stars: Ezzatolah Entezami, Bita Farahi, Sedigheh Kianfar
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Nariman Anwar, Helly Luv


Cast overview:
Soran Ebrahim ...
Avaz Latif ...
Saddam Hossein Feysal ...
Hiresh Feysal Rahman ...
Abdol Rahman Karim ...
Ajil Zibari ...


On the Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border, the boy Satellite is the leader of the kids. He commands them to clear and collect American undetonated minefields in the fields to sell them in the street market and he installs antennae for the villagers. He goes with the local leader to buy a parabolic antenna to learn the news about the eminent American invasion but nobody speaks English and Satellite that knows a couple of words is assigned to translate the Fox News. When the orphans Agrin and her armless brother Hengov and the blind toddler Riga come from Halabcheh to the camp, Satellite falls in an unrequited love for Egrin. But the girl is traumatized by a cruel raid in her home, when her parents were murdered and she was raped. She wants to leave Riga behind and travel with her brother Hengov to another place, but he does not agree with her intention. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and mature thematic material, all involving children | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


| |

Release Date:

23 February 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Turtles Can Fly  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$29,107 (USA) (18 February 2005)


$256,822 (USA) (24 June 2005)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| | (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


All of the child actors in this movie were actual refugees. See more »


Agrin: teach them math and science!
Satellite: they know math and science. they have to learn how to shoot now!
See more »


Referenced in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Life in Iraq, as seen through children's eyes
17 July 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"Turtles Can Fly," the haunting new film from Iranian writer/director Bahman Ghobadi ("A Time for Drunken Horses"), begins with an arrestingly beautiful image: A young woman (Avaz Latif), resolute in her manner, stands barefoot on a rocky ledge, contemplating a leap that will surely end in death. The landscape is gray and forbidding; the light is cold; the tone ominous. Then the camera comes closer to the actress' face, wreathed in tangled brown hair, and we realize, with a start, that she is a child.

Ghobadi's film is a story of wounded children, a devastating reminder of the costs of war. It's set in an Iraqi village near the Turkish border, in early 2003, as the villagers await news of an American invasion. As they try to set up a satellite dish, a key player emerges: a boy known as Satellite (Soran Ebrahim), with Coke-bottle glasses and a pushy, ever-yelling confidence. He's the expert in this operation, in the way that kids worldwide seem to know more about technology than their elders, and he's also the ringleader of the village children, who follow him like loyal acolytes.

Satellite, in his bulldozer way, soon catches the eye of Agrin, the girl we saw in the opening scene, and he's dazzled by her, gazing at her with Mooney eyes. "I've been looking for a girl like you," he tells her. She, orphaned by war, takes care of her two brothers — one is armless, maimed by a land mine; the other is a toddler — and ignores Satellite. There's an air of quiet tragedy about her, the reason for which is explained late in the film, in a scene so wrenching it's almost unbearable to watch.

The performances in the film — all by nonprofessional actors — vary in quality. Ebrahim has some touching moments as Satellite but rarely varies his voice from a shout; it suits the character's almost corporate like personality but eventually becomes wearying. But Latif, as the tragic Agrin, makes the most of her few lines; she's calm, astonishingly beautiful and skilled enough to let us see the heavy weight on this grown-up child's shoulders.

Ghobadi and director of photography Shahriar Assadi linger on the vast landscape, with its bleak fields and desolate, branch less trees, and create some beautiful effects with shadows. (In one shot, the hills glow under a night-blue sky as the tiny shadow figure of a child appears between them.) And the director's eye for heartbreaking detail is keen. In this harsh, desperate world, a child cries, with no hands to wipe away his tears. Others stare at the camera, looking far older than they should, as if seeking the end of a nightmare.

36 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Propaganda Film crudwre
Is this a movie to be shown in 7th grade public school? esarcastic
The girl caitlinette
Saddam Hussein brought war upon his nation, period. slsbas
USA MINES jackehammond
question about red fish......?? thedeadwalk83-1
Discuss Turtles Can Fly (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: