And the Oscar for the best film goes to ..

Turtles can Fly. Ever heard of it ? Probably not. Is it better than all the nominated films ? Definitely. Far better. So what do the Oscars mean ?


A huge fasion show. A huge celebration of Gossip, a lot of Partying. And all the applause for members of the club. A club called Hollywood. It is definitely a celebration of the glamour of Hollywood. and so it ought to be. It is a club that has for so long suceeded in dominating the culture of the world.
But lets not kid ourselves. This is not the best of Cinema that the world can offer. 90% of the world cinema does not even get seen by any member of the academy. The truth is that the members of the academy have rarely seen the films they vote for either.
Here is information on Turtles Can Fly. It does not push a message down your throat. Just reaches your heart and tears you apart before you even realize it. See it if you can. It is the best film this year.
“Turtles Can Fly” is the third feature from internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi (“A Time For Drunken Horses”). Written, directed and produced by Ghobadi, the film features of cast of local non-actor children.
“Turtles Can Fly” is set in Ghobadi’s native Kurdistan on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq. Thirteen-year-old Soran (Soran Ebrahim) is known as “Satellite,” for his installation of dishes and antennae for local villages looking for news of Saddam. He is the dynamic leader of the children, organizing the dangerous but necessary sweeping and clearing of the minefields. He then arranges trade-ins for the unexploded mines. The industrious Satellite falls for an unlikely orphan (Avaz Latif), a sad-faced girl traveling with her brother Henkov (Hirsh Feyssal), who appears to have the gift of clairvoyance. The siblings are care-taking a three-year-old, whose connection to the pair is discovered as harsh truths are unveiled.
The devastation to this land and its inhabitants is revealed in the matter-of-fact perspective of the children and is equally displayed with every poignant detail of its unbearable nature. The exquisitely haunting mountains play backdrop to violence and tragedy, but at the same time the heart and humor of the children is an undeniable force.
“Turtles Can Fly” won the Golden Shell at San Sebastian and the Silver Bear at Chicago and is the Iranian entry to the Academy for 2004 Foreign Film consideration.
Shekhar.

16 Responses to “And the Oscar for the best film goes to ..”

  1. Diane says:

    This film sounds really good. I’ve seen “A time for drunken horses” at the video store. I should get it. Have you seen WATER by Deepa Mehta? I just love her to bits.
    Hopefully, it’s out on video soon.
    I just bought Memoirs of a Geisha recently.
    really cheap. You can get anything in Chinatown that’s in the Oscar lists- and other great films too. I am partial to Foreign films. I find it odd they call them that. Why not “International” or something?
    I would recommend JU DOU, which also features Gong Li. It’s amazing. One of those that is just breathtaking, and so much happens at the same time very little is happening. It’s excruciatingly beautiful.

  2. Cinda says:

    Thanks for the recommend Shekharji…don’t know if it’s available in Canada but I will try to get it somehow.
    Diane, I just saw Memoirs of a Geisha last week, beautiful!…and yet to see Water, someone at work told me it tore them apart.
    Cinda

  3. pradeep says:

    Whatever you feel about Hollywood it sure does original stuff even though a lot of it might be trash. Bollywood on the other hand views all the trash and remakes it week in and week out. Better still the film makers have the nerve to claim it to be their original idea and even accept awards for it. I think the makers of original thrash can be credited but the copycats of thrash….
    I think rather than pick a bone with Hollywood which you always seem to be doing, it would be better if you take your eighty something uncle away from the film sets and put him in a retirement home. Has he not done enough damage to an already damaged industry.
    Pradeep
    Malaysia

  4. Asim Khan says:

    Seen Water, not a big fan, saw Geisha not so bad but this is where I hold my ground, when it comes to Crash, I think it still was one of the better movies of the year whose message, as Mr. Kapur likes saying himself dealt with contradictions with in the characters(feedback on Crash would be preffered). Hav’nt seend Turtles Can Fly, but will watch it for sure and perhaps if it was nominated would have won the award for the best foreign movie, but since it was’nt I guess the door for Crash was wide open in comparison to the other movies.
    Although one question, why can’t foreign movies be nominated only in the best picture category, why make a seperate category for them, we know in the future we will have just one, world cinema.
    Asim

  5. Shawn says:

    I saw the film “Water” and I believe that it would be a huge blunder if it is not nominated for the Oscar Best Foreign Film Category as everyone across America loves this movie. It has been applauded by Roger Ebert as well as many other film critics. Shekhar, what do you think are the chances for Water? I REALLY think that India has a sure shot winner with this one when it comes to an Oscar in the Foreign Film Category however I think that they won’t nominate it due to all the controversy – it’s just sad to see an opportunity like this to go by.

  6. Ravi Jain says:

    hello sir!Well i have seen ‘turtles can fly’at Mumbai Intl’ film fest.It was really good.But its really ironical that every tear in an Iraqi eye is credited to all the americans in the world.Let us rightly credit all those american decision makers who succeeded in creating a hell right on this earth in the name of iraq & let us rightly credit those thousands of american & coalition forces soldiers who left their homes to save & build Iraqi homes & who gave their lives for a reason that never existed.I can relate with this topic very well coz’ i just made a short film on the same topic.

  7. ravi says:

    yes shekhar sir i agree with ur thought on credibilty or lack of it of the oscars but it does give some people the platform for future ventures.i havent seen ‘turtles can fly’ as yet but i m sure i will .talking about anti war films you must have seen great stanley kubrick’s “dr srangelove or how i learned to stop worryiin and love the bomb” and “full metal jacket ” i would like to know ur thoughts on the filmmaker and these movies.i hope you will represent your version of war around the world in some form on the big screen.

  8. Peter says:

    Yeah…you’re very right. “Bandit Queen” never won the “Best Foreign Film” …Satyajit Ray never won for any of his films….so many more movies that you can add here.
    As far as films go,I guess you are never going to be able to say that this is ‘the’ best film .
    How many people thought “Crash” was the Best Picture? It had to be “BrokeBack Mountain”, I thought.What a wonderful wondeful film by a genius called Ang Lee!It’s definitely the best film I saw in a long time.Very real characters and such a powerful love story.It is a pathbreaking film….inspite of being a gay love story it has a universal theme. Every time I watch the film, I discover something new. Check out the scene by scene discussion on this website (www.davecullen.com)
    And I thought there were similarities between you, Shekhar and Ang Lee. Both of you are Asian born film directors who’ve made a name in Hollywood.
    “Four Feathers”had Heath Ledger and “Brokeback” has Heath.What a marvellous performance by Heath!
    What did you think of Heath, Shekhar? and the film?
    Suprisingly, it was’nt banned in India though it was in China. For once our crazy bureaucrats were sensible.
    They did’nt allow Deepa to shoot her film in India.When I saw “Water”, I thought Benares had a role to play in the film and without her…without the Ganges there was something missing!

  9. andrew prasad says:

    i living a bisexual lifestyle and i am married with three kids. i still visit my boyfriend without my wife knwing it. i want to act in a film of gay love story or have a film made on my real life story on how i start to live a double sexual preference lifestyle. i know may gay people will have a similar experience and i am confident to share my story with any script writer or director of a film who intend to make this film. i am indian origin residing in the fiji islands in the south pacific. it can be an opportunity for film makers to come over to fiji and shot this type of film in tropicla condition.

  10. Deepak Srinivasan says:

    hey all,
    check out my pilot short that I made with a digital cam meant for pics and with a theatre colleague and good friend,Tushar Shukla…it was meant for a Goethe institute film contest which invited films on the “power of language” and so we went ahead and made it and sent it…it bombed big time…even our promised DVD-return which I hold dear-to-me-heart didnt come back…so bad luck galore…but i love my baby!!lol
    D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3llbHLPAG4

  11. Amit Vashisth says:

    …Inspiring, I’ll watch it…
    i think tht, every Human, has got a story, which is his own, under its own circumstances, I dont know, at this point in time, much abt, how the films are awarded Oscars; but one thing is for sure, POLITICS…is everywhere…no escape from it Sir.
    But to make a FILM, with non replicated DNA, and which is true to heart, and just narrates something Interesting,may be any incident or an anecdote, without trying too hard is an art, yet to be learnt by many of our Indigeneous and Contemporary Film makers – whose Creativity often succumbs to Commercial Pressures.
    It takes balls of Iron, to unbelong; and also to appreciate it.
    Regards,
    Amit Vashisth.

  12. halani ashok says:

    i am a 23 year old .i intrest in drama

  13. Amit says:

    i was away for some time, quite some time indeed. Well, i landed up in a job with Royal Enfield Motorcycles, I love the bike and yes it is for moolah,to fuel my dreams,of course; hahahha, any comments on … the OSCARs ’07 … i was all up for BABEL, but…why do u think it happened…?

  14. ritesh says:

    Turtles Can Fly is one of the best movies I have seen in the past year. However, ref the above comments- ‘Water’ is absolutely ridiculous. Good intentions but bad film. The ending especially when Gandhi shows up out of the blue, because he is something ‘Indian’ that the west recognizes, if the story could stand on its own feet, there would be no need to get Gandhi in the end. And for sure he wasn’t traversing the country collecting abused children. ‘The Lives of Others’ was absolutely brilliant, for once the Oscars got it right, ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ was a close second. Looking forward to ‘Paani’.

  15. Ankur says:

    Good evening to all, I myself am an independant film maker / law student in Toronto, Canada, and I agree completely that the Oscar’s do not represent in any way what defines a good picture… in fact have you ever noticed that rarely a comedy or horror film ever makes the nominee list for an oscar? does this mean that a comedy cannot be a great film?? of course not! Films are like moving paintings in my opinion… any given painting can be a masterpiece to one, yet mere scribbles to another. It all depends on the perspective and how well the picture relates to that perspective. I believe with film have an advantage over paintings in that they have an added element of emotion through visuals and sounds that is the essence of what an audience experiences…personally as a director, I make my films based on what ride of emotions I want a viewer to be gonig through while they are watching my movie… At any given point, two people can look at a film, one could hate it, while the other would think that it is a work of genius… Awards, financial success and media publications are only there to increase mass acceptance for the audience…they pick movies that “they” believe that most people would like…however is this truly a free choice for the average viewer? Probably not… For years people have bought into the media budget for a movie in determining if it’s a good movie….it’s almost subliminal as in ‘if you say the movie is good, enough times, they’ll believe you’ however once again, this is not true choice…it’s a lack of options…I think over the last few years people have begun to develop a taste for high end independant films…films that choose to take chances and simply not aim for mass appeal… some financers may call this risky, however isn’t this the method for advancements in any field?..i mean if Einstein was too wound up on Newtonian laws then we wouldn’t have the theory of relativity today (true, physics and films are different matters, but in their basic basic format, they both are simply expressions of the human mind…one by way of mathematics, the other by way of images and sound) So I propose for any movie goer out there, don’t give in to the hype, don’t simply watch a movie b/c it was nominated or has received “great reviews” by some critic sitting up in his/her mansion, detached from what the layman would consider to be the real world…don’t let the media decide what you like as a viewer…YOU should decide…watch a film with an open mind, look beyond the surface and you’ll truly get more out of the experience than buttery hands from popcorn and a bloated stomach from soda…..remember movies are there to take you out of ur life for a few hours and put u in a surreal setting that you could never experience otherwise…so above all…have fun…. till we meet again, i bid you adieu đŸ™‚

  16. Kshitij says:

    By far one of the best films ever made. The child actors are superb. It sends shivers down your spine looking at the childhood these children face.

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