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Common sense

There are times either when you are waiting on a long queue, or when you are putting your daughter to sleep... your thoughts wander around. You think about all the nice things in the world, and the best things that has happened for, during the history of mankind. You feel glad that you are born on the post-Guttenberg era, and especially in the current Information Age, where you are connected to the entire world more closely than before. Yet, you are left with nothing but disappointment that books and words are not enough to convey the human compassion. You realize that the field of visual arts & motion pictures, is at its peak today in its power to convey any message. Yet you are again disappointed to see that its potential is not fully tapped. Then you run into one of those movies that give you hope for the future...

Movie: Turtles Can Fly by Bahman Ghobadi (2005, Kurdish)

The movie is set against the backdrop of the Kurdish refugee camps(border between Turkey and Iraq) at a time just before the American Invasion of Iraq. The movie does not drive any political message, but brilliantly shows the ground reality to the rest of the world. The main characters are the orphaned refugee children, who collect the dangerous land mines in order to sell them to the arms dealers and make money for their livelihood. The tragedy of this is reflected on the character Hyenkov (A boy with no arms) who defuses a mine with his mouth. His young sister has a 2 year old daughter born of rape, and she hates the daughter. The lead character is a young boy named 'Satellite', who is very outspoken, active and a problem-solver for the villagers. This young boy 'satellite' has convinced the elders of these villages, to buy satellite-dish and throw their old TV antennas. He bargains with the satellite dealer, and trades old radios and some cash to purchase a satellite dish, which he later installs for the village people. As you watch this young boy going around on his colorful bicycle, spreading news to the village, instructing the rest of the kids, managing their work, giving instructions on how to wear a mask (in case of chemical explosive) etc... and winning the heart of the village population, you will find yourself giving a place for 'Satellite' in your heart! At the end of the movie, you are left with compassion for those children that are too busy to even realize the tragedy they are in.

Life moves on, for them and for us.

This is the first movie that I see of Director, Bahman Ghobadi. He belongs to those rare artists, who can make you smile and fill with your eyes with tears, at the same time on the same shot! He says that those amateur children actors were "acting out of their own life."



posted by Jey @ 4:45 PM,


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