Shot on location in an Iraqi refugee camp on the Turkish border, director Bahamn Ghobadi's (A Time For Drunken Horses) powerfully moving third feature is the first film to come out of Iraq since the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.
Set during the days leading up to the US invasion of Iraq, the story centres on the children struggling to survive in a harsh landscape where there are more landmines per square metre than anywhere else in the world. Soran aka 'Satellite' (Soran Ebrahim) is the leader of these children; however, his all-business attitude is disturbed when he meets brother and sister Henkov (Hiresh Feysal Rahman) and Agrin (Avaz Latif), whose bodies and souls have been irreparably damaged by Hussein's brutal legacy.
Perhaps more potent than any documentary on the subject could hope to be, Turtles Can Fly is an evocative and compassionate piece of filmmaking that combines front line reportage with edifying moment of mystical symbolism. Often harsh and unforgiving in its portrait of a ravaged terrain, this is thought-provoking cinema of the very highest order.
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