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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.

Director:

Bahman Ghobadi

Writer:

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

Photos

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Cast

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
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

sourehcinema

Country:

Iran | France | Iraq

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,326, 20 February 2005

Gross USA:

$258,578

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,075,553
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected as Iran's submission in the Best Foreign Film category for the 2004 Oscars. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
eye-opening war film
23 October 2006 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

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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