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HALF MOON aka NIWEMANG
USA: Strand Releasing
UK: ICA Films
Cast: Ismail Ghaffari, Allah Morad Rashtiani, Farzin Sabooni, Kambiz Arshi, Sadiq Behzadpoor, Ali Ashraf Rezai, Reza Haj Khosravi, Mohamad Nahid, Bahram Zarei, Hedieh Tehrani, Golshifteh Farahani, Hassan Poorshirazi
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Countries: Austria / France / Iran / Iraq
Language: Kurdish / Persian (English subtitles)
USA: 107 mins
UK: 114 mins
UK Certificate: tbc
USA Release Date: 28 December 2007 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 14 December 2007 (Limited Release - New York)
UK: Release Date: 4 January 2008 (Limited Release - London, ICA)
HALF MOON is the moving and beautiful new film from Kurdish director Ghobadi (A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES, TURTLES CAN FLY).
Mamo (Ismail Ghaffari), an iconic Kurdish musician in the twilight of his life and failing health, must lead a dozen of his sons to Iraq for a concert - "a cry of freedom" - to celebrate the fall of Saddam Hussein and the end of his repression of Kurdish music. Their plan is to drive across the border between Iranian and Iraqi Kurdistan, but the road will be long and winding and the local wise man has predicted calamity.
On their travels, the men will encounter the most sublime visions alongside the most horrendous brutality - primarily meted out by border guards. But first they must pick up Hesho (Hedieh Tehrani), Mamo's exiled singer and muse. The "celestial voice" she represents takes on a divine, transformative power, and Mamo is left in a state of grace no one could ever have anticipated.