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

PG-13  |   |  Drama, War  |  23 February 2005 (France)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 12,415 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 87 user | 93 critic | 31 from

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.



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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:




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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?


Red Fish, which appear commonly throughout the film, are one of the seven symbols of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, and symbolize life within life. Ironically, Nowruz is on March 20, the day the United States staged the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, during which the film takes place. See more »


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


Featured in Cinema Iran (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Moving story and amazing performances of a very young cast you will not lightly forget
6 February 2005 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Watching this movie is an incredibly absorbing (and even physical) experience. It is amazing how the young cast (non-professionals, some of them actually lived in refugee camps along the Iraq-Turkish border) deliver such powerful performances. This is also a huge compliment to the director Bahman Gohbadi who directed the children and teens. Although the film depicts the nightmare where these children live in, it has also some comic moments, making it even more believable and real life. And what's more: the film never gets sentimental.

For me it is one of the best movies I have seen in the last few years. Not uplifting (I really needed a drink after wards) and a film you will not easily forget. On the other hand the story does provide sparkles of hope and the main characters are true survivors. So don't miss it when it plays in a theater near you! "Turtles Can Fly" won the audience award of the International Filmfestival in Rotterdam 2005 (Netherlands).

91 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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