Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Rating: 8.5 / 10
Starring: Soran Ebrahim, Saddam Hossein Feysal, Avaz Latif, and Hiresh Feysal Rahman
Stunning, Brilliant, Moving is how many have described this movie and now I have joined their league. Its an Iraq-Iran co-production made by Iranian Director Bahman Ghobadi. Few movies actually can delight and disturb you at the same time, and this movie does just that. If you havent had a taste of international movies yet, this would be a great place to start.
Set at the Turkey border of Iraq - Kurdistan, this movie traces the path of a village cum refugee camp from a few days before the American invasion of Iraq, to the ultimate fall of Saddam Hussain. Its got nothing to do with the actual war, yet everything to do with it! This is a story of the children of that place. There is a child leader called Satellite whose a cable guy. He is called Satellite because he is famous for installing satellites in villages. He is kind of a contractor. He has a whole bunch of children - localites as well as refugees, for whom he finds contractual labour everyday. This labour is majorly defussing LandMines in peoples fields - laid down by American, Iraqi, Russians etc and then sell them to the arms dealer. He is a fair leader and takes great care of the other kids. He setups up a satellite in the village for the elders to watch all the banned channels and news channels - to get information on the impending war. Satellite falls in love with a small girl - a refugee who stays with her brother - whos lost both his hands when his parents were killed and his house was burnt down by militants. They also have an infant with them, which everyone believes to be their younger brother. The girl seems to be in perpetual mental torment. Satellite does his best to impress her thorughout the film, but she just wants to run away from the place. The Brother takes care of both of them even though he has a disability.
What happens when Americans invade Iraq? what is the condition of the people in the village during the war and the aftermath? what is the past of the girl and the infant? what happens to all these characters as the story unravels into one disturbing and powerful drama? These are the questions you would have to find out by actually watching this amazing film.
The child actors do such an amazing job that you start living their life, while watching this film. The cinematography and the screen play is of the highest order. The story is novel and the narration is brilliant. You are moved by not only the story, but also by the setting. What seems to be routine life to the children, would seem deplorable to you.
I recommend it to everyone. Its a must watch - it would certainly open your eyes to the gems that are made in other parts of the world.