09 September 2008

Yes, Turtles can Fly

By Harsha Man Maharjan

Can Turtles fly ? If we ask this question to others. There answer will be no. Never.
But Iranian film maker, Boman Ghobadi thinks opposite to what others think. For him, turles can fly.

I have read a story of friendship between a turtle and two cranes. Here too the turtle travels in air. Two cranes help it. During a drought, the turtle makes a plan to move to another pond. According to the plan it will clutch a stick with its teeth and two cranes will carry the stick by their beaks. Everything was going well when, I think…a crow…gives credit to cranes for making this plan. The stupid turtle could not listen to praises and opens its mouth to tell truth. It falls and dies.

But Ghobadi shows how turtles can fly without others help in his film, Turtles can Fly. Turtles are only symbol here. This film is more about children then turtles. It is not about children if we say childhood is the happiest moment of life. We think children have no burden, no responsibility.

Turtles can Fly is about daily life of children in Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border. These children are innocent like turtles. But they have a huge burden as turtles have on their back too. Yet they need to fly. If they don’t fly, they will die. It is a harsh reality.

These children eke out a living through cleaning minefields. It is dangerous job but they lack option. Satellite, a thirteen year boy organizes this job. His life changes when he falls for Agrin, a girl who has migrated with her blind toddler and her brother. Only her brother and she know that the blind toddler is the result of rape during war. Her sad and mysterious face betrays this. At last she commits suicide.

So this film tells us how war affects children, girls and boy and how stigma remains with rape victims during war in their whole life.

I recommend all to watch this film. I think Nepali film makers can learn a lot from this film. It teaches us how even a film with small plot can tell harsh facts of life.

links for film and the director


javieth said...

I love this blog, is really amazing. The turtles are my favorite animal because they are quiet and they never represent a danger for anybody. This is the main reason why i love it. And how big they can be. Simply wonderful.
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