There was a haunting, lyrical approach to war in ‘Turtles Can Fly’, this Kurdish Iranian director’s last film, which is evident again in this work commissioned by Peter Sellars to celebrate Mozart’s 250th birthday and which applies some of the same sense of mortality as ‘Requiem’ to the Kurdish experience after Saddam. An elderly Kurdish musician, Mamo (Ismail Ghaffari), is travelling by bus with his ten musical sons to perform a concert in Iraqi Kurdistan – the first for 37 years. Mamo insists on smuggling a female singer (Hedye Tehrani), an insistence which, since women are prohibited from performing, causes an atmosphere of fear and conflict. It sounds like a simple post-war road trip, but Ghobadi adds a ghostly element to this tale of oppression that’s bolstered by the Kurdish music on the soundtrack and the film’s alluring photography. There’s something Styxian about the road travelled here that’s reinforced with imagery of death that elevates Ghobadi’s tale above the everyday.
|Release date:||Friday January 4 2008|
Cast and crew
Ali Ashraf Rezai
Reza Haj Khosravi