by Bahman Ghobadi
Renowned old musician Mamo has been granted permission to perform a concert in Iraqi Kurdistan. His faithful friend Kako will drive a school bus and help gather together Mamo's ten musical adult sons, scattered throughout Iranian Kurdistan.
Mamo is determined to make this trip across the majestic landscape despite all obstacles. The old Kurdish musician has waited some 35 years for the chance to perform freely again in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mamo even ignores his son's premonition that something awful awaits him before the next full moon.
Mamo is convinced that the essence of the upcoming performance is the celestial voice of a woman. He has chosen Hesho, who lives in a mountain retreat with 1334 other exiled female singers. Old Mamo must persuade reluctant Hesho to join them, because her self-confidence and voice have been weakened by oppression. Since women are forbidden to sing in front of men in public in Iran, Hesho must be carefully concealed in the bus.
The journey of Mamo and his musical group is not without difficulties. But persistent Mamo guides everyone toward adventure, emotion and magic ...
Bahman Ghobadi has become one of the world's most promising and interesting directors with only three feature films. The Kurdish Iranian director has managed to create work in the most challenging of circumstances. His films centered around Kurdish life are shocking and real, but frequently touched with hope and humor.
Ghobadi was born in 1969 in Baneh, Iran, and studied film in Tehran. Ghobadi began working in the field of industrial photography and also shot his own short films on 8mm and on video. Between 1995 and 1999 his short films (like »God's Fish«, »Again Rain With the Melody«, »This Man Has Arrived«, »Life in Fog«) earned him numerous awards and opened up new opportunities for him. In 1999, he worked as an assistant director for Abbas Kiarostami and went on to shoot his first feature »A Time For Drunken Horses«, which was awarded the Camera D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2004 he was awarded with the Golden Shell of the San Sebastian International Film Festival for »Turtles can fly«.
Filmography Feature Films
2000 »A Time For Drunken Horses«
2002 »Songs Of My Motherland« (aka »Marooned in Iraq«)
2004 »Turtles Can Fly«
2006 »Half Moon« (»Niwemang«)
Ghaffari - Mamo
Allah Morad Rashtiani - Kako / Bus Driver
Hedye Tehrani - Hesho / Singer
Hassan Poorshirazi - Border Policeman
Golshifteh Farahani - Niwemang
Sadiq Behzadpoor - Shouan
Writer-Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Cinematography: Nigel Bluck, Crighton Bone
Editor: Hayedeh Safiyari
Production Design: Mansooreh Yazdanjoo Bahman Ghobadi
Sound: Bahman Ardalan
Music: Hossein Alizadeh
Executive Producers: Simon Field, Keith Griffiths (Illumination Films for New Crowned Hope)
Producer: Bahman Ghobadi
Co-producer: Behrooz Hashemian
A production of MIJ Film (Iran), New Crowned Hope (Austria), Silkroad Production (France). With support of Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq
Format: 35 mm / 24fps / 1:2.35 / Colour / Dolby Digital
Length: 107 min
Original language: Kurdish, Farsi
Original title: Niwemang
This film is part of New Crowned Hope festival produced by: Wiener Festwochen, Wiener Mozartjahr 2006. Principal Sponsors: Telekom Austria, JCDecaux