Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Marooned in Iraq|
Actors: Shahab Ebrahimi, Faegh Mohamadi, Allah-Morad Rashtian, Rojan Hosseini, Saeed Mohammadi
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
During the Iran-Iraq war, an aging Iranian-Kurd musician hears that his wife, a singer with a magical voice who deserted him for his best friend and fled Iraq, is in trouble. He cons his two sons into acompanying him on hi... more »
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Across the Border: Three Kurdish Musicians' Road Movie
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 07/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Kurdish film director Bahman Ghobadi ("A Time for Drunken Horses") gives us his second film, about three musicians, the aged father and his sons, who are going to find the father's wife who left him long time ago. The film is benefited from the beautifully shot pictures, with a clear-cut portraits of the main characters. And this is rare with films from Iran (where the director was born), but the film has enchanting ethnic music which is not to be missed.During the time of the war between Iraq and Iran, Mirza, once very popular singer, receives sad news: his wife Hanareh, who eloped with another musician and went to Iraq years ago, is in great trouble. Mirza, living in Iran, decides to see her, but that means he must cross the border, where the snow-capped mountains prevent the access. So he summons his sons, Audeh and Barat. Barat happens to have a motorcycle, and Mirza takes no for answer even if Barat and Audeh (they are not Hanareh's sons, and think her as disgrace to the family) refuse to accompnay him. So they start the journey to Iraq, hearing the incessant, terrifying noise of jet fighters. The film traces their travel sometimes with a comical touch, but it ultimately raises its tone to the very somber feeling at the end where Mirza comes to know what happened to Hahareh, and other thousands of the Kurdish people in Iraq.The film is made with an agenda, which is not hidden at all, but thankfull it is free from any obvious political messages or preachy words. Anyone who are interested in the Middle East must know the sad history of the Kurdish people, and the film uses the knowledge as the backdrop against which the three convincingly made characters move. They are all flawed, often bickering to each other, but eventually overcome the obstacles set in their ways, if not the harsh reality surrounding them.The film's great merit is its music. In fact, the three main leads are all played by the real musicians, and the film occasionally allows them (and other Kurds, who are really enjoying the sound) to play some tunes, which are fascinating. The film eloquently shows that the Kurdish people are in a way characterized by their music and the joy, which cannot be taken away even by the bombers or dictators.The film is slow-moving, but the move is steady and skillful, with the visual flair of the director. "Marooned In Iraq" is a simple and beautiful film with its understated but clear message.Hahareh (Iran Ghobadi) is actually played by the mother of the director."
Tsuyoshi | 07/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie many months ago, loved it--found it a revelation--and pushed it on everyone I knew. Everyone responded to it with the same kind of instant affection. It is hilarious, moving, and unpredictable. I can't recommend it highly enough."
Puts a face on a "faceless" people
Flash | San Jose, California | 10/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film gets you up close and personal with the Kurds, a people with no country of their own. It gives you a glimpse of their suffering at the hand of Saddam's regime, their hopes, dreams and the geography that they call their home. Some very funny parts too... like the scene with the young lady telling off the old guy with too many wives. The brick factory scenes constitute some particularly interesting camera work."
A Unique Film
Corn Soup | 04/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is always nice to see an up-and-coming director make an obvious leap. In his first feature, A Time for Drunken Horses, Ghobadi was up to his ears in bathos. Not contented with the misery of the Kurdish condition alone, he told it through the actions of a small family of Kurds that had the extra burden of caring for a severely handicapped brother with no access to proper medical care.
In contrast to the grey tones and dourness of A Time for Drunken Horses, Marooned in Iraq is a colorful film, filled with rich character development and a plot that is more than interesting enough to keep even Western viewers who aren't particularly curious about Kurdish culture per se interested in what is going on. Adding to this achievement is his treatment of joy and humor in the context of what was a very tragic time for the Kurdish people. I think the interweaving of tragedy and laughter in this film is masterful.
Often in Iranian and Arabic films, comic characters tend to be one dimensional buffoons. In the case of Marooned in Iraq, Ghobadi has created some of the most sympathetic comic characters that I have seen in an Iranian film. They are warm, truly funny (though some of the humor doesn't really translate well), and a joy to watch develop on screen. Enjoy this film, and I can't wait to see what Ghobadi does next."