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Kurdish Film 'Turtles Can Fly' to Screen at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: April 28, 2009

image for Turtles Can FlyEAU CLAIRE — "Turtles Can Fly" (Iran-Iraq 2004), the third feature by Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi ("A Time for Drunken Horses"), will conclude this year's International Film Series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire April 30-May 3.

A drama set in the haunting mountains bordering Turkey and Iraq, with a cast of refugee children, the film will screen at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. all four days in Davies Theatre.

"'Turtles Can Fly' takes place at childhood's end," wrote the Boston Globe. Thirteen-year-old Kak (Soran Ebrahim) is known as Satellite because of his skill at hooking up dishes in his Kurdish village in the northern enclaves of Iraq, where people are anxious for news of Saddam Hussein on the eve of the U.S.-led invasion. The resourceful boy leads a group of orphaned children who harvest land mines and sell them for food.

"I wish everyone who has an opinion on the war in Iraq could see 'Turtles Can Fly,'" wrote film critic Roger Ebert in his four-star review. "It is about the actual lives of refugees, who lack the luxury of opinions because they are preoccupied with staying alive in a world that has no place for them."

"In this booby-trapped world, everything that we hold dear about raising offspring will be thrown out. These kids will raise themselves," wrote The New Yorker. "A lesser director would end up floundering in hyperbole, or in comedy as black as tar. What Ghobadi does, to stabilize the mood, is follow the example of his characters — if children can treat their sufferings with a level gaze, he implies, then we owe it to them to do the same."

In Kurdish with English subtitles, the 98-minute film is rated PG-13.

Admission is $2 for IFS members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby and will be sold at the door.

Presenting films selected by the UW-Eau Claire International Film Society and the University Activities Commission of the Student Senate, the campus film series is administered by the Activities and Programs office of the University Centers.

-30-

JS/NW

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