Half Moon

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The Independent Culture

In this picaresque road movie from Bahman Ghobadi, the writer-director of 'A Time for Drunken Horses', a famous Kurdish-Iranian folk musician and his dozen sons are travelling by coach to Iraq to play a concert in celebration of their people's newfound, post-Saddam freedom. But the military checkpoints and American gunfire in their path suggest that this freedom might not be worth celebrating. As the men trundle through mountains and villages, the film passes through a perplexing range of genres, stopping off at absurdist comedy, dour realist drama, and cryptic, symbol-strewn fable along the way. There are enough powerful scenes and stunning panoramas to confirm Ghobadi's future as a leading international film-maker, but 'Half Moon' is hard going. It reminded me of 'El Topo', and like that seminal midnight movie it would probably make more sense through a fug of marijuana smoke.