I Want to Live is a documentary on the lives of Kurdish Refugees from Syria, living in refugee camps in Kurdistan. Shot on location, it is set against the Syrian civil war and the ISIS (... See full summary »
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 »
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 »
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.
This documentary shows us how a Daf elaborated. It's about a family that all their children are blinded and they're running their family business. They're making Dafs which is an Iranian ... 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 »
Irreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. In the meanwhile the film follows his efforts to fit in with the local community and how he changes his own attitudes as a result.
Roushan Karam Elmi
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
It would be hard to imagine a more pertinent and relevant film than "Turtles Can Fly," an Iran/Iraq co-production that, like a modern day version of "Forbidden Games," looks at the horrors of war through the eyes of its most helpless and innocent victims - children. Set in a poor village located in Kurdistan, just a few steps from Iraq's barb-wired border with Turkey, "Turtles Can Fly" begins right before the American invasion of that Arab country in the spring of 2003. Many of the children of the village are orphaned refugees who earn money by finding, defusing, and then selling the many active land mines that lie strewn across the barren countryside. This is literally how most of them make their living. The main character is a teenaged boy who goes by the name of Satellite (one of his many duties is to hook up satellite dishes for the villagers' TV's) who, much like a pint-sized Fagin, sends his gang of kids - many crippled and missing limbs - out on daily missions to forage for mines. Another major character is a young girl who was raped by the soldiers who killed her family and who now carries the burden of "shame" that comes with having had a child out of wedlock and whose actions in this realm ultimately lay the groundwork for the story's final tragedy.
Given its harsh subject matter, "Turtles Can Fly" - which features wonderful performances from a group of children, some of whom have themselves lost limbs to landmines - is not always easy to watch, but there is a surprising amount of humor in the movie, as well as a tender-hearted compassion for its characters that makes it a compelling, moving experience. Much of the humor comes from the near-surreal juxtaposition of a Medieval existence and mindset with devices of modern technology such as trucks, television sets, satellite dishes etc. The protagonist's no-nonsense, sardonic approach to life and the people around him also generates some much-needed humor.
But, ultimately, this is a poignant, haunting movie that opens up a world largely unfamiliar to those of us living out our far more comfortable lives in the West. The movie is basically a series of slice-of-life vignettes that help us to understand the appalling conditions under which people in that part of the world are forced to survive. Yet even as they eke out some sort of existence against the greatest of odds, these youngsters still find time to laugh and play and fall in love, a fact that is bound to strike a responsive chord in viewers the world over. For the film is a heartbreaking and vivid reminder that when adults play at their games of war, it is the children of the world who suffer the most.
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