Turtles Can Fly movie review & analysis (2004)

5/5 - (1 vote)
Turtles Can Fly poster

Director: Bahman Ghobadi

Wrtier: Bahman Ghobadi, Bahman Ghobadi,

Stars: Soran Ebrahim Avaz Latif Saddam Hossein Feysal


Summary: Near the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of an American invasion, refugee children like 13-year-old Kak (Ebrahim), gauge and await their fate.

Turtles Can Fly Trailer
Turtles Can Fly Review

Sometimes when I listen to the soundtrack of a movie, I can guess how good the movie can be, because, in addition to producing beautiful scenes, the director pays special attention to the soundtrack. “Bahman Ghobadi” (Director of Turtles Can Fly) is a director who has implemented this idea admirably, collaborating with Hossein Alizadeh, a great Iranian musician.

Turtles Can Fly Agrin holding the kid

Turtles Can Fly has received rave reviews, in addition to the high scores given by foreign sites such as IMDb and Metacritic, Roger Ebert has also given a high score to this movie. Turtles Can Fly won the Peace Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival and the Special Jury Award at the Chicago Film Festival. In the meantime, it received the Golden Butterfly Award at the Children’s Film Festival in the country’s domestic movie festivals. It was also the first movie about the Iraq war since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Turtles Can Fly the kid playing around mines

The story of Turtles Can Fly is about a Kurdish village on the border of Iran and Turkey, at the beginning of the war. There are many refugee children and families in the village. In a way, war may be worse than any other calamity that human beings can face, all natural disasters have only one layer, a layer that always and everyone can see, but wars may have different layers we do not know about. When a flood comes, houses may be destroyed, schools may be destroyed, people might die and drown, and many may become homeless, but this is only a natural disaster. But war is a human disaster, a disaster that is caused only by conflicts between the opinions of a few people.

Turtles Can Fly Agrin sitting and looking back

These conflicts lead to the death of many innocent people. People rushing through villages and towns with guns, firing at each other at point-blank range, breaking water pipes, blowing up gas reserves in order to defeat their enemy. They enter countries as peacekeepers, start bloodshed, and then leave, while the country is no longer former. They destroy the culture and the civilization and everything they come across, and people have to deal with the aftermaths of war for generations in order to cope with it thoroughly.

Turtles Can Fly Avaz Latif Agrin Actress and the bike

“Turtles Can Fly” is a movie that reveals a small corner of the war, a corner of the human catastrophes that this human disaster brings to all innocent human beings. The small village is built on a hillside, it is full of cannons and tanks and the wreckage of equipment left over from the war, thousands of homeless people live in tents, bringing water from other villages, there is not enough food, siege in misery, siege in death and siege in endless sorrow and struggling for survival.

Turtles Can Fly Soran Ebrahim Satellite sitting on tank spkeaking and kids around him

In a far flung village, children open landmine caps with their little hands and defuse them, they do not play with each other, they play with their lives, they play with death to be a little happy, and they put a basket on their backs and go to the minefield. Where in the world do children voluntarily raise their hands to go to the minefield with such enthusiasm and run towards the minefield with a smile on their face? This is their entertainment.

Turtles Can Fly Satellite and his friends

There is a 15-year-old boy who wears glasses, who is not a child, and is not even a teenager. He knows how to make deals, he knows how to speak, he knows how to give orders, and he mixes politicking with childhood, and he is happy with his life. Other children of the village count on him. He sees a girl dressed in red, with eyes in which the radiance of childhood can no longer be seen, kind of a sorrow, a sorrow that has bestowed a special beauty to the girl’s eyes, the boy falls in love with her when he sees her eyes. A boy without hands calmly defuses the landmines with his lips, he is without hands, but he has fascinating self-esteem and magnanimity. It does not matter if he is a child or a teenager because he has become a man in this turmoil and chaos.

Turtles Can Fly Agrin the girl moving and holding mines

Turtles Can Fly goes on as if the children are the ones in charge of the village, they clear the fields of landmines, they go to the city to exchange them, and they work to buy weapons. Adults breathe only to survive.

The opening sequence of the movie shows that children are constantly on the edge of a precipice in wars, walking along the precipice day and night, and every step, could be their last. Children laugh at what they have lost, they laugh at their crooked hands and feet, because they are in war to be happy, because they are children.

Turtles Can Fly the kid around mines scene

War is more of a threat to children than it is to adults. Agrin is the victim of a war that no one in the world has their eye on, when she looks at the satellite channels she sees how the channels in America and Europe are busy with their stupid pleasures while children are playing with their lives on this side of the planet. The boy who plays the role of a commander for the village, the girl who is the symbol of the mother and the boy who feels the burden a heavy responsibility on his shoulders.

Turtles Can Fly Satellite wearing gas mask

Hollywood may produce thousands of movies about the impacts of the Vietnam War or the Iraq War, but none of them are as painful as it is in the Middle East. Children who deal with death itself, women who learn to be strongholds, and men who try to support their families in any way they can. They cannot show the victimization of a girl in the war, they cannot depict the pain a little boy endures while his mother gets killed in front of his eyes, because they have only seen them in the movies, and they have not struggled with them like the people of the Middle East have, and they have not felt it with their flesh and blood.

Turtles Can Fly Agrin Avaz Latif close up view

Turtles Can Fly is full of sadness. Along with these sorrows, there are small moments of joy, a girl falling in love with a boy who has lost his hands, but does not lose hope.

Turtles Can Fly ending explained:

By the time the movie is through, Agrin has killed the kid by dunking him in a pond and then hangs himself by jumping off a cliff. Around this time in the film, a turtle is shown swimming underwater and seemingly flying, fitting the title Turtles Can Fly.

What is the movie Turtles Can Fly about?

The story revolves around three refugee kids who are waiting for the American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein at the Iraq-Turkey border.

At what time and where does the film Turtles Can Fly take place?

Residents of a Kurdish refugee camp wait for the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, hopeful for Saddam’s downfall but expecting a bloody aftermath. Children are put into work gangs by Satellite (Soran Ebrahim), who also disarms and sells field mines to arms dealers.

About Author

I have loved movies since I can remember. This love is still in me and will be. Cinema is my life! On this site, my colleagues and I write articles that will help you to have a better and deeper connection with the world of movies and TV series. ENJOY!

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Turtles Can Fly Quotes
Agrin: teach them math and science!
Satellite: they know math and science. they have to learn how to shoot now!
Turtles Can Fly Subtitles

2 responses to “Turtles Can Fly movie review & analysis (2004)”

  1. Media says:

    a remarkable, emotional film. Childhood is a time for having fun and playing silly games. However, these unfortunate children no longer have the joy of life. The pressure on “Agrin” is palpable. She stares, the trauma visible in her eyes. It’s a fantastic film that is definitely worth seeing.

  2. Reza says:

    Cinema is an experience and might occasionally open your eyes. One such film that takes you to locations that no one else has visited as frequently is Turtles Can Fly. It is no surprise that the main protagonists were young and old because they are the groups most negatively impacted by war. The Bahman Gobhadi and his colleagues deserve all the credit.

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