Photo: Tom Pollock, Annette Bening, Frank Pierson, Ellen Harrington, Alfre Woodard and Bill Horberg in Persepolis, Shiraz - March 2009. | Photo by: Hamidreza Pournasiri | Related post

Turtles didn't fly

Nominations for the 77th Academy Awards were announced 2 days ago and unfortunately there wasn't Iran's entry - Turtles can fly - among them.
Turtles... is the first movie to come out of Iraq since last year's Iraq war. Bahman Ghobadi is an Iranian director that made his 3rd movie in Iraq, starring Iraqi children and without professional actor or actress, like his previous movies.

"...When I saw all these children without arms, the visual image that came to me, in the physical sense, was turtles. The hardship that turtles encounter was similar to the hardship the children encounter. I could compare their patience and tolerance…"
[Film-making in the wake of Saddam - BBC entertainment]

You can find here full list of this year's oscar nominations. The Aviator - directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio - leads the list with 11 nominations. Scorsese has never won any oscar prize and I wish to get it this year.

Oscar ceremony will be held in Hollywood on 27 February.
[Oscar 2005 in depth - BBC]
[oscar's official site]

+ January 27, 2005 4:51 PM

I saw "Turtles Can Fly" with my friend, Mohsen, at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. It's a brilliant movie and I strongly recommend it.

Mr. Ghobadi answered questions after the screening. There were some very tense moments, as the audience was full of Iranians and Kurds, one of whom was less than thrilled at the fact that Bahman's translator was from "THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN!"

I'll never forget that night. Mr. Ghobadi said that at times, because of the suffering he had seen in Iraq, he wondered if he should just stop making films and help people. But he is helping people. He's helping people like the children in his movies, and he's helping people like me remove the veil from my eyes in order to see what's really happening.