Turtles Can Fly

  • 98'
  • Iraq
  • 2004
The latest film by the Iranian-Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi (A Time for Drunken Horses) is set in a refugee camp on the border between Iraq and Turkey, just before the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. The most important roles in the film are played by children without acting experience, who provide very natural and beautiful interpretations under the guidance of the director. Despite their terrible living conditions, the children in the camp are inventive enough to earn money and to survive. They even have room for humour. This society of children has its own hierarchy. The leader, who has the nickname Satellite, organises dangerous games like dismantling landmines, so that many of the kids are physically handicapped. Henkov, who has a gift for prediction, is one of them. He takes the responsibility to look after the pretty girl Agrin and a little boy, who may be her son. Satellite is fascinated by the beauty of the girl and tries to penetrate the bizarre universe of the trio. Each of them is marked by his or her own tragedy. This is a film that does not only document the war, but also the less well-known side of war: the lives that continue within, the psychology, the everyday life and the mental suffering of war children, seen through the eyes of a great director. (LC)
Bahman Ghobadi
Countries of production
Iraq, Iran
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2005
Original title
Lakposhtha ham parvaz mikonand
Mij Film Co., Bahman Ghobadi
BAC Films
Bahman Ghobadi
Sound Design
Bahman Ardalan
Local Distributor
A-Film Distribution