Turtles Can Fly (2005)



Critic Consensus: Set in Iraq after the fall of Saddam, Turtles Can Fly is being hailed as extraordinary, moving, and lyrical.

Movie Info

Turtles Can Fly, written and directed by Bahman Ghobadi (Marooned in Iraq, A Time for Drunken Horses) takes place in the days leading up to America's second war against Iraq, in a small village and refugee camp on the border of Iraq and Turkey. Soran Ebrahim stars as Satellite, a boy nicknamed for his obsession with technology. Satellite is also obsessed with the United States, and sprinkles bits of English throughout his speech. His strong personality and his resourcefulness have made him a … More

Rating: PG-13 (for violence, disturbing images and mature thematic material, all involving children)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Bahman Ghobadi
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 20, 2005
Box Office: $0.2M
IFC Films - Official Site



as Soran, aka `Satelli...

as Agrin

as Shirkooh
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Turtles Can Fly

All Critics (77) | Top Critics (28)

Despite its fanciful title, Turtles Can Fly leads viewers into a slough of despond, one in which not just hope is strangled but virtually any possibility for simple human kindness.

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

Riveting, depressing and eye-opening, Turtles Can Fly is a movie about an Iraq that the news hasn't shown us.

Full Review… | June 24, 2005
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A lyrical and heartbreaking reminder of the human toll of war.

Full Review… | May 13, 2005
Miami Herald
Top Critic

A story that renders into poetry the sad facts of survival for child victims of war.

Full Review… | April 22, 2005
Toronto Star
Top Critic

relentless, bleakly funny, thoroughly remarkable drama

Full Review… | April 22, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Visually beautiful and acutely observant, this Iran-Iraq co-production presents a compelling, sentiment-free drama that moves on a human level well removed from the usual liberal rhetoric.

Full Review… | November 7, 2012
Empire Magazine Australasia

Audience Reviews for Turtles Can Fly

Best film I have seen in a long time, Involves the boarder of Iraq, Iran and Turkey\, where homeless children are trying to survive. One Young man is the head of everything, he wheels and deals in everything. These children get paid for digging land mines. A very interesting film that all should see. Nothing less then 5 stars.

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


An interesting story about Iraqi kids living in a refugee camp on the border of Turkey anticipating the Iraq War and hoping for the fall of Sadaam. The kid actors are actually refugees and improvised a lot of scenes, so it is neat and effective. The story itself can be depressing, but it is well made and shows a different side of a conflict.

Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Turtles Can Fly" starts out in a Kurdish refugee camp on the border of Iraq and Turkey, just before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. One kid nicknamed Satellite, for his technical proficiency, is about the only youngster not only fully intact but also wearing glasses and riding a bicycle. He is helping to install television antennae, so village elders can watch news of the impending invasion but not any prohibited channels. Eventually, they get around to installing a satellite dish.(All that trouble just to watch the Fox New Channel!) Satellite also keeps the other children of the camp employed in the ever so risky business of mine sweeping. Along comes a child with no arms but with the apparent ability to predict the future.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Turtles Can Fly" is perfectly good when it sticks to the absurdism of the situation and the powerful realism of the tragic children but it derails when it slips into mysticism. Overall, this is a fair movie but it misses the mark of making a greater statement. [/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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