Half Moon review

Mamo (Ismail Ghaffari), a famous elderly Kurdish musician, is invited to a concert in Iraqi Kurdistan to celebrate the fall of Saddam. With the help of his old friend, the accident-prone Kako (Allah-Morad Rashtian), he commandeers a bus, picks up his ‘sons’ (ie his backing group) en route and resolves to add a female singer to the line-up. Problems beset his journey – not least censorious Iranians and oppressive Turks. But the power of hope, traditional Kurdish resilience and music can overcome anything – except perhaps the Angel of Death. Iranian-Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi makes films with a style and flavour all their own. Following on from Turtles Can Fly, Half Moon is part quirky road-movie, part mythic fantasia, part rhapsodic celebration – and wholly captivating.

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