Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Marooned in Iraq (The Songs of My Motherland) 2002

Avaz-haye sarzamin-e madari-am

Directed by Bahman Ghobadi

Iran In Kurdish with English subtitles
97 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Saed Nikzat
Shahriar Assadi


Hayedeh Safiari


Arsalan Kamkar


Shahab Ebrahimi
Fa’eq Mohammadi
Alahmorad Rashtiani


Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Edinburgh, London 2002; Sydney 2003


Marooned in Iraq is part rollicking road picture, part ardent homage to ethnic homeland, and part unexpected last laugh for Iran-based Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi, whose previous fine film, A Time for Drunken Horses, also took place on the unyieldingly rocky, snow-choked Iran-Iraq border. Set at the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War but shot two years ago in Iran and Iraq, Ghobadi’s sometimes outrageous drama features Kurds who survived Saddam Hussein’s murderous post-war bout of bombing and gassing… The rush of news only intensifies the power of the story, about a white-haired father and his two middle-aged sons – well-known Kurdish musicians with the wacky looks and antic sensibilities of three stooges – who make a picaresque journey from Iran to Iraq to help the old man find his ex-wife… Nothing I’ve read about Iraq or seen on TV in the past few weeks has felt nearly as real and intimate as this commanding fiction.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly