Saturday, July 28, 2007

Turtles Can Fly (Ghobadi, 2004)

Just a few half-ass thoughts before heading off to bed. Bahman Ghobadi's Lakposhtha hâm parvaz mikonand or translated as Turtles can Fly tosses us into a world of politcal crisis, despair and shattered lives all through the perspective of children making this anti-war film even more harrowing.

Taking place somewhere in a remote village in Iraq on the brink of Saddam Hussein's fall from power and the U.S. occupation, the film follows a group of orphaned children living in horrific conditions. They understand that there is a war coming very soon and with the lack of parental supervision, these kids are left to survive on their own. It is also especially dangerous when your surrounded by mine-fields and closed in by barbed wire making it seem like a barricaded concentration camp. If that couldn't be any more depressing, the rainy and damp weather really don't help matters either.

This is not a war film in the sense that there are big battle scenes, outbursts of military warfare and nor is it overtly political despite the reverbating undertones. The focus is an intimately portrayal of young children caught smack dab in the middle of a country on the verge of collapse. The primary concern being the harsh realities that these kids need to face each day and the shocking after-effects of an undemocratic society where there is danger around every corner. At times heart-breakingly overwhelming, there is also a fair dosage of humor and joyfulness that balances out the discouraging gloom. It encourages one to step outside of the box and consider the Iraq war from an innocent child's point of view which could have easily failed in the process if the child actor's were not convincing. As non-professional actors, these kids are completely natural because they can bring their real life experiences to their respective roles since many of them were born and forced to survive in this Hell. A completely underrated film that deserves notice.


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