Mamo heads for Iraq with his ten sons. The famed composer is an Iranian Kurd who wants to stage an anniversary concert with the singer Hesho and his sons as orchestra – despite his advanced disease. Women in Iran are not allowed to sing in front of an audience – making the trip a bit of an adventure. Director Ghobadi depicts daily life in Kurdistan, with all its highs and lows. The Kurds have learned to bravely confront terror with music, joy and humor. Mamo isn’t deterred by visions of his own death, either, bravely leading his troupe of musicians on. The film was made to commemorate Mozart’s 250th birthday.
Meet the director
Bahman Ghobadi was born in Baneh in 1969, a city in Iranian Kurdistan near the Iraqi border. The Iran-Iraq War forced his family to move to Sanandaj, the capital of Iranian Kurdistan. After high school graduation, Ghobadi moved to Teheran, where he began working as a photographer. He attended Iranian Broadcasting College, but did not graduate. He then worked as assistant director to Abbas Kiarostami on THE WIND WILL CARRY US. After shooting several documentary shorts on Super8, he made his award-winning breakout short LIFE IN FOG 1999. He named his production co. Mij (Fog), which funds and produces Kurdish films, after this film. “Iran has always been a region that cradled a multitude of different ethnic groups, Turkmens, Kurds and Turks, yet their voices are rarely expressed in Iranian cinema,” says Ghobadi. He made the first Iranian Kurdish feature film 2000, A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES, followed by TURTLES CAN FLY (2004), HALF MOON (2006) and NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS (2009), winning numerous international awards, including the Caméra d'Or in Cannes, the Glass Bear in Berlin, two main prizes in San Sebastian, the Index on Censorship award and numerous audience awards worldwide. Bahman Ghobadi has been making Kurdish films for twenty years now, often working with non-actors and laypeople.