Night and Day: Wednesday, August 27, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Saving Hanareh

A movie called Marooned in Iraq sounds disturbingly contemporary, but it actually has nothing to do with the current situation in that country. Instead, it takes place on the Iran/Iraq border immediately after the first Persian Gulf War. It’s about an elderly Kurdish musician (Shahab Ebrahimi) who takes his two grown sons (Faegh Mohammadi and Allah-Morad Rashtian) with him on a dangerous mission of mercy — going into Iraq to locate and bring back his ex-wife, a legendary singer.

The director, Bahman Ghobadi, served an apprenticeship with the great Abbas Kiarostami, but he’s more than just the latest brilliant filmmaker to come from Iran. He’s also the only person in the world making films in Kurdish, bringing the language, the stories, and especially the music of his stateless people to a wider audience. His movies are an act of cultural preservation. In contrast to the unending misery of his 2001 debut film, A Time for Drunken Horses, this second film has much more in the way of comedy and lightness, and has drawn comparisons to Emir Kusturica’s Gypsy movies and Bollywood musicals. Still, Marooned in Iraq doesn’t stint on the horrors suffered by the Kurds under Saddam Hussein. Ghobadi can take some satisfaction in the fact that his film opened last May in a newly liberated Baghdad, the first Kurdish film ever to do so. Now it comes to Fort Worth, before even the Dallasites have had a chance to look it over.

Marooned in Iraq plays Fri-Sun at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Tickets are $5.50-7.50. Call 817-738-9215.


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