18

FRIDAY

A dreamlike parable set in the shadow of CNN-broadcast events, Iranian-Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi’s darkly poetic Turtles Can Fly follows a group of Kurdish orphans on the Iraq-Turkey border as the United States prepares to topple Saddam Hussein. A teenager whose skill with TV dishes has earned him the nickname “Satellite” leads a Dickensian gang of kids who make money by clearing fields of landmines—an enterprise confirmed by their various missing limbs. Satellite becomes smitten with Agrin, the new girl in town, and tries to win her affection by looking out for the toddler he assumes is her little brother. The kids welcome the U.S. troops, but life spirals out of control for both Satellite and Agrin (whose fate has already been revealed in the flash-forward opening). The arm from the fallen Hussein statue, Ghobadi concludes, is no substitute for all that has been lost. The film screens at 7 p.m. at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th Street and Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 633-4880. (Mark Jenkins)