TURTLES CAN FLY
The film is set in a Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq. Thirteen-year-old Kak is known as Satellite for his installation of satellite dishes and antennas for local villagers looking for news of Saddam Hussein and the impending war. He is the leader of the children, organizing the dangerous but necessary clearing of the minefields, trading the unexploded mines for equipment. Satellite falls for an orphan named Agrin, a sad-faced girl traveling with her disabled but smart brother Henkov, who appears to have the gift of clairvoyance. The siblings are taking care of a three-year-old whose connection to the pair is discovered as harsh truths about these children are revealed. Won numerous awards including the Special Jury Award at Chicago 2005. Invited to Sundance 2005.
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.