Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Golshifteh Farahani, Hedye Tehrani, Allah-Morad Rashtian, Hassan Poorshirazi, Ismail Ghaffari
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Music Video & Concerts
HALF MOON is the moving and beautiful new film from Kurdish director Ghobadi (A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES, TURTLES CAN FLY). Mamo, an iconic Kurdish musician in the twilight of his life and in failing health, must lead a doz... more »
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 02/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Half Moon (Strand Releasing) is a movie that belongs on every "to see" list. It is a road movie of black comedy that touches the heart over and over. Beautifully photographed against stunningly stark landscapes, it is a film rich in simplicity with careful attention to detail; "Half Moon" chronicles what appear to be activities that are mundane but culturally fascinating.
Kurdish director, Bahman Ghobadi, looks at Momo, a Kurdish musician who is nearing the end of his life and is suffering from failing health. He must lead twelve of his sons to Iraq for a concert to celebrate the fall of Saddam Hussein, a "cry for freedom" concert. The road between Iraq and Kurdistan is long, winding and hard and the local wise man has predicted disaster for such a trip. On their way the men come upon incredible beauty and horrible brutality. There is an additional problem in that they must also stop to puck up Hesho, an exiled singer and Momo's muse who is in exile. Her voice is so special that it has transformative power and because of it, Momo reaches a state of grace which was completely unexpected.
Momo has been regarded as the Kurdish Mozart and his tribulations in getting to the festival are both mesmerizing and life-affirming. The bus driver of the group is responsible for the comedic moments in the film and some of these include the way father interacts with his sons and by the resilience of the young woman named Papooli. Ishmail Ghaffari brilliantly portrays Momo. Momo and his sons have been practicing for seven months in order to perform at the concert and everything was set to go until the situation of ill feelings between Kurds and Iraqis come into play.
Concentrating on social and family dynamics, this film emerges as a study of human behavior. Music is the major issue and when the border guards show contempt for it, the audience really becomes involved in the film.
The title of the film, "Half Moon" refers to the fact that Kurdistan is half visible and half hidden. Comedy and tragedy are intertwined to show what the essence of Kurd life is. Watching this film opens new levels of understanding and this is indeed a pleasure to watch.
Wayward bus . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 08/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Surely much of this wonderful film is lost in translation, for its mixture of comedy and pathos seems so much rooted in Kurdish culture, language, and customs, as well as the international politics that has divided up Kurdistan under three hostile governments: Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, with the intervention of a fourth (as this film notes), the U.S., represented by distant automatic gunfire in one scene. Director Bahman Ghobadi's narrative vision is matched by the sweeping views of wintry mountains - breathtaking in super widescreen cinematography - and it's possible to watch the film simply as a travelogue into remote regions of the planet.
But the depth and profundity of what Ghobadi has to ultimately say about Kurdish identity and independence has to be a matter of guesswork for a Western audience, divorced as we mostly are from our own cultural roots. What does it mean to keep alive a musical tradition that reaches centuries into the past, binds together generations both living and dead, and whose expression represents the continued resistance of a people to outside forces attempting to subdue and crush them? An audience attuned to musical fashion and plugged into their iPods is not likely to comprehend the significance of that question. Which is why this is a brave film, reminding us of how music has the power to embody who and what we are - not just ethnically, but as human beings. The haunting sound of the human voices in this film are the sound of our DNA singing."
A pleasant movie made for the Western audience
Ganj Ahmad | 04/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is no wonder that this movie was screened at my university in Michigan as part of the International Movie Festival; it was made for a Western audience. This movie will leave the viewer laughing, asking questions about this unique ethnic group called the Kurds, and will show some insight into the general Kurdish aspirations of stubbornly viewing themselves as "kurds" while defying current borders. This is by far Mr. Ghobadi's best movie production. Considering the fact that non of the actors in this movie are "professional actors" adds to the overall value of this movie.
I would highly recommend for anyone interested in far-away cultures or international movies to watch this title."