106 user 120 critic

Turtles Can Fly (2004)

Lakposhtha parvaz mikonand (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, War | 23 February 2005 (France)
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.


Bahman Ghobadi


Bahman Ghobadi
23 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Soran Ebrahim Soran Ebrahim ... Satellite
Avaz Latif Avaz Latif ... Agrin
Saddam Hossein Feysal Saddam Hossein Feysal ... Pashow
Hiresh Feysal Rahman Hiresh Feysal Rahman ... Hengov
Abdol Rahman Karim Abdol Rahman Karim ... Riga
Ajil Zibari Ajil Zibari ... Shirkooh


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 | Plot 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:

View content advisory »

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 »


References Titanic (1997) See more »

User Reviews

The Iraq you won't see on FoxNews
2 February 2006 | by turkamSee all my reviews

I was very impressed with Bahman Ghobadi's film "Turtles Can Fly." With his other two films "A Time for Drunken Horses" and "Marooned in Iraq," he has now proved himself to be an effective realist. Though like most Iranian filmmakers, the ethnic Kurdish Ghobadi may be seen as a director who is too slow for fast food cinema tastes here in America. But, he allows every character to evolve and their stories to be told. The film's two most moving sequences involve one in which the title character Satellite tries to save small female child from American land mines, and another where the main girl in the story walks towards a cliff where she will contemplate suicide. With a series of flashbacks, we quickly understand why she is on the verge of taking such a desperate leap. The film also shows hope upon the outset of the American invasion. The Kurdish citizens are clearly burned out with Saddam Hussein and desperate for a change. But, it is clear from the moments that leaflets are dropped from planes that the American forces will be there for other reasons which have nothing to do with freedom for the Kurdish people, or any Iraqis. The film is not likely to change anyone's political view of the Iraq War here domestically. Conservatives will see the Kurds' plight as a good reason why we have to stay in Iraq. Liberals will see that the promise of an invasion without hostility is an impossible one because of vast cultural differences and in the end, nothing will really change in Iraq at all. I am one who believes films can not change a person's politics, and it seems clear that Ghobadi himself has mixed feelings about the whole affair. It should be noted that Ghobadi's "A Time for Drunken Horses" was the first Kurdish-language film to be shown in my father's country, Turkey. I am not Kurdish myself, but one has to find the fact that Ghobadi broke the barrier very ironic since Turkey is actually the country with the world's largest Kurdish population and because Turkey's best known filmmaker, the late Yilmaz Guney, was of Kurdish descent. Guney is also considered to be the best filmmaker of Kurdish heritage ever. But, just as Nuri Bilge Ceylan ("Uzak/Distance") is challenging Guney's place on the mantle as far as Turkish cinema, Ghobadi might well soon be recognized as the foremost Kurdish filmmaker who ever lived, if he isn't already. However, none of these factors should take away from Guney's merits. He still deserves far international recognition for his work, but since he died in 1984, it seems that his torch has perhaps already passed on to other hands.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 106 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:



Iran | France | Iraq


Kurdish | Arabic | English

Release Date:

23 February 2005 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Turtles Can Fly See more »

Filming Locations:

Kurdistan, Iraq See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,326, 20 February 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mij Film Co., Bac Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed