A Time for Drunken Horses

Unlike most Persian films, there’s no metaphor in this story. Some Kurdish children at the Iraqi border have it really, really tough. This film about four children – two sisters, an older sister bartered away for marriage, and their severely developmentally disabled older brother Madi is incredibly difficult to watch – the harrowing scenes of the care the siblings lavish on Madi will stay in your minds for a long time. There’s no question of CGI or elaborate sets – most what happened in the film almost certainly actually happened: the long dangerous treks over the border, the mules given alcohol to keep them warm, the scenes in the bazaar. It’s a blur between film and documentary, with no hidden meaning, just a hard look at the injustice of life.

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