Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Marooned in Iraq

Optimistic in its ending, as seen in the continuation of life through Hanareh's daughter, the film is an extremely somber type of dark comedy. The devastation of life that is evident throughout Mirza's journey, though presented lightly, gives a heartbreaking image of the life of Kurds both in Iran and Iraq.

Mirza sets out with his two sons in search of his ex-wife who sent for his help. Moving from one village to another, we become witness, through the eyes of Mirza and sons, to the degrading life suffered by those villagers. As the trio move into Iraqi borders, this poverty is made the more harsh by Saddam's constant bombing of Kurds, intensifying in the end when we hear of Hanareh's exposure to chemical weapons and the effects they had on her face and voice.

The education of children, within these harsh circumstances, is noticable in this movie. In the first 'school' scene, the student are hidden inside what seems to be an upside down crate (thought my eyes might be deceiving me). When next we meet a school of students, their lesson is taken outdoors (much like my morning lesson today though with a totally different kind of scenery). This second group of students are orphans who live in a refuge for Irani and Iraqi Kurd orphans, an orphanage quite dismall.

The movie ends in an affirmation of life and a confirmation of the Kurds' resilient nature. Life goes on in the midst of all this poverty and bombing, and the adoption of Hanareh's daugter by Mirza further symbolizes the Kurds full grasp on life.

One of the most beautiful images in the movie is one in which the students, after learning about the two types of planes, throw their paper plane off a cliff, resulting in a shot of so many white kites gliding across the mountain. Breathtaking.

This is by far my favorite movie in film week.

15 comments:

Shurouq said...

Glad I didn't miss this one.

My favorite scene:
A heart shape on Barat's motorbike's side mirror reflected on girl's face.
Beau-ti-ful.

Audeh and Barat rocked :)

Spontaneousnessity said...

I get upset when I see movies like that, specially the part you explained about the orphanage, even though those movies (non american) are amazingly done and way too different than what we're used to, bs way too miserable ={ true life image.

Alia said...

So sad i missed it

but my bed was so warm & fluffy

Hanan said...

shurouq. I almost missed this one to go out with friends but decided against it at the last minute. I'm glad I did

spon. It's actually a hilarious movie. The audience was laughing most of the time.

alia. Hi. I miss you girl. Haven't seen you in a while.

mishari26 said...

Well, what a confusing movie.

As you guys said, its hard to separate the real from the symbolic in the movie, come to think of it, almost all of the happenings didn't make much realistic sense.

Audeh 9ak rase. and he had to grow on me before I could tolerate his unkempt facial hair.

Wayed 9rakh in the film.

The imagery is Phenomenal! the parts when they were on the bike travelling along the roads winding through the valleys, totally breathtaking. The subtelty of a music class being taught inside a steel dumpster, so powerfully sums up the whole state of the community.

I should honestly say I didn't understand some parts of the film, like what's the significance of Mirza being recognized everywhere, everyone knows his story. He asks people about Hanareh as if its perfectly normal for them to know. Never is he surprised that someone knows him, he keeps on going with the conversation without skipping a beat. Maybe its a symbol of northern kurds going back south to rescue their kin from the oppressing Saddamian system of the time. Hanareh goes south in Iraq to sing, and she gets rewarded with disfigurement from chemical attacks.

Barat being single til middle-age, never taking off his shades til he heard the magical voice of a girl, the symbolism is confusing to me.. shades taken off to "see", yet he never "saw" her in the 1st meeting, only "heard" the voice, which seemed to be the significant characterstic which hooked him.

On a cultural note, when they admired someone's voice, I wondered, what does the voice have to do with anything, they only end up going on a long and powerful monotone anyway. Not like they have to go on so many different levels like its opera. Makes me wonder what characterstic of the voice are they noticing in the kurdish sense.

AyyA said...

Guys, you talked me into it, where can I get the movie? Anyone knows?

Hanan said...

mishari. do we really hae to understand everything there?

maybe Mirza was there Nabeel Sh3ail. Everyone knows him around the Arab world :)

Barat!! He can now 'see' love maybe, or his view on life isn't 'shaded' anymore. I don't know. Just throwing off things here.

ayya. try amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AKCLX/102-8965523-6165705?v=glance&n=130&v=glance

Swair. said...

i loved this movie :D
i loved laila, but this was much better :D

Hanan said...

swair. glad you liked this one. did you happen to catch the last day? I didn't :(

ValenciaLover said...

I'm sorry I missed it but those movies start too early for me. I can't leave work before 7:30 pm.
One more reason? The weather is sooo nice that I wouldn't want to be sitting in a closed dark room, I'd rather have my coffee somewhere on the beach and enjoy silly conversations with my friends.
So when are we chocolate barring again?

Jan6a said...

you know i just noticed the url of ur blog, i likey like !

Hanan said...

valencia. soon girl

jan6a merci ma cheri

Anonymous said...

at the event, were you the one that gave the intro for the movie?

Jewaira said...

Hanan keep us up to date with events at KU

Hanan said...

anon. No. If I remember correctly, this one was presented by Dr. Ebtehal Ahmad.

Jewaira. Will do :)