Reviews

Turtles Can Fly

4

The first feature to emerge from Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, Turtles Can Fly is set in an Iraqi/Turkish border refugee camp on the eve of the US invasion of spring 2003. Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi (A Time For Drunken Horses) focuses on a handful of orphaned children – played by non-professionals – who are trying to survive in appalling conditions: crippled youngsters use their bare hands and teeth to defuse landmines from surrounding fields, which they then trade for a pittance on the black-market. Incorporating anguished flashbacks, psychic premonitions and boldly symbolic imagery, the film’s full of compassion for its traumatised characters, while remaining deeply sceptical of the motives of the American ‘liberators’ – who drop leaflets vowing “to make this country a paradise.”

 

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: September 19th 2005