Turtles Can Fly

Turtles Can Fly ★★★★★

Words can seldom articulate my gratitude for Cinema, but words act as a release. Cinema is the greatest medium in existence, to be able to sit back and experience it without breaking a sweat is an other-worldly, once-in-a-lifetime privilege.

In a distant border village between Iraq and Turkey largely surrounded by gigantic mountains and endless valleys where once vegetation was rich, animals grazed, summers bloomed, schools were full, lakes thrived, birds kooed, children ran around playing aimlessly, where mothers hollered their children for lunchtime, the aroma of kebabs and delicacies loomed in the air, and the morning prayers made the sun rise as though heaven came down here, but, this was a reality short-lived.

Now, its ominously shrouded in silence and when the rain clouds arrive they rather seem like a harbinger of bad times than a blessing. Reeling from a destruction where someone lost an arm, some a leg or two, some their brothers and fathers, and some their entire families. In this maniacal world of crazed games of war nothing is horrid compared to seeing children take it all.

We see them clear land mines from surrounding hamlets, buy weaponry for combat, practice how to shoot, engage in odd jobs than study to raise money. Imagine being a six or eight year old under these infernal circumstances robbed off your childhood while being faced with an impending doom as your senses are blacked out with dangers and nightmares

But, Bahman Ghobadi put us right in between an aftermath of a tragedy and with another one incoming, we get to see the unflinched, undaunted side of these children who despite the horrors are spirited and their resilience is admirable to say the least.

The film re-kinders hope in humanity even in the most bleakest (This story is bleak to the nth degree) of times. It boasts some of the best performances by child actors I've ever, ever witnessed on-screen. Ghobadi's visual and poetic artistry skills makes this a work of sheer tenacity and is also a tear-jerker, for I couldn't hold mine back.

Somnath Bhattacharjee liked these reviews