The emotionally intense A Time For Drunken Horses is one of the current crop of excellent films coming out of Iran. However, writer-director Bahman Ghobadi's effort shies away from the overtly poetic or visually overwhelming style of some Iranian helmers, his tale of orphaned Kurdish children in the Iran-Iraq border region instead relying on a camera that simply and silently observes.
While it could so easily have descended into sickly sentimentality, it is a sign of Ghobadi's skill that the film completely avoids the usual heartstring-plucking clichés. As the children have to assume the responsibility of adults, the events unfold with a natural feeling of spontaneity, rather than scripted structure, and the acting of the young leads, in particular Amaneh and Madi Ekhtiar-dini, is completely without artifice. Genuine and heartbreaking, the images and emotions are sure to linger inside long after you've left the cinema.
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