Friday, October 20, 2006
Kurdish Director Bahman Ghobadi's film "Turtles Can Fly," is set in a refugee camp located on the Iraqi-Turkish border where he captures the innocence and hardships of the lives of these displaced children. It portrays how these alert and eager children are able to cope with unfathomable dangers.
Turtles Can Fly was released on DVD Sept. 20.
Ghobadi focuses on the lives of these orphaned children who have formed their own refugee society in order to recover from the last war and from Saddam's vicious attacks.
The protagonist, Satellite, organizes a pack among the children where he supervises all the activities including running dangerous local industry, salvaging mines left planted in fields by Iraqi solders, giving pep talks, and imposing discipline. Satellite lives by courage, wit, and a spectacular capacity for improvisation.
The significance of this film is largely due to the fact that American coverage of the Iraq war tends to neglect ordinary Iraqis and their attempt to go on with their lives, especially during times of violence and uncertainty. Moreover, Ghobadi shows the woes of an armless boy and his ability to predict the future as one of the movie's most horrific developments. Unlike most movies, there is not a conclusive ending because it is set during an era when closure is impossible.
However, Ghobadi leaves us with the resounding realization that the harshness of their world is stunning by the way he captures the pain of the children.