My Town at the Break of Dawn

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The Kurds are called, “the world’s largest ethnic group without their own country.” Approximately, 30 million Kurds are living in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
In 2014, ISIL militants attacked Kurdish cities. The Kurds rose up to defend their homes. They drove back the militants, and suffered many casualties. But the cities were reduced to rubble.
In towns laid waste by ISIL, Kurdish boys and girls are making their own films. Iranian director, Bahman Ghobadi and his colleagues taught the children how to make a film. Ghobadi is also a Kurd. Two years prior, he opened a film school in a refugee camp for Kurdish children who escaped from their own hometowns.
Eight of the kids’ short films made it to the Berlin Film Festival and drew the world's attention.
In 2017, Ghobadi has opened a film school again. Kurdish Children’s pain and hope for the future have been woven create two short films.

Director Bahman Ghobadi
Location Syria and Iraq
Duration 49 min.
Genre Children / War / Life
Air Date (JST) Sun., May 13, 2018 *rerun
Sun., Dec. 17, 2017

On Demand


Bahman Ghobadi

Bahman Ghobadi


Bahman Ghobadi was born on September 2nd, 1968 in Baneh, a city near the Iran-Iraq border in the province of Kurdistan,
Iran. He was the first son in a family of seven siblings. He lived in Baneh until, at the age of 12, civil disputes caused his entire family to immigrate to Sanandaj, the center of Kurdistan Province in Iran. After graduating from high school in Sanandaj, Ghobadi moved to Tehran in 1992. He started his artistic career in the field of Industrial Photography. Though he attended the Iranian Broadcasting College, he never graduated. Rather than following a formal curriculum, he believed the only way he could learn the craft of cinema was by tirelessly making short films. Using 8mm film, his starting point was to shoot a series of short documentaries.
Through his instinctive and hands-on approach to filmmaking, Ghobadi developed a unique style, soon gaining widespread local recognition. A breakthrough came with “Life in a Fog” (1999), one of the most acclaimed shorts ever made in Iran. Following this success, Bahman Ghobadi went on to make “A Time for Drunken Horses” (2000) – the first feature-length Kurdish film in the history of Iran. In the wake of being awarded several different International Awards, Ghobadi attracted international attention and established himself as a pioneer of Kurdish cinema.
This film and all subsequent made by Ghobadi (among others, “Half Moon”, 2004, and “Turtles Can Fly”, 2006) were widely praised at film festivals the world over, gathering dozens of awards, but were little or not seen in his native country. In 2009, Ghobadi completed “No One Knows About Persian Cats”- a semi- documentary about the underground indie music scene in Tehran, filmed in Iran without an official permit and in very restricted conditions. After that, he had to leave Iran and continue working abroad. In 2012 he made „Rihno season”, which was shot in Istanbul. His latest work- „Flag Without A Country” (2015) is a Kurdish documentary-fiction with action in Erbil, Iraqi-Kurdistan.


2015 Life on the Border
2015 A Flag without a Country
2012 Rhino Season
2009 No One Knows About Persian Cats
2006 Halfmoon
2004 Turtles Can Fly
2002 The Songs of my Mother Land(Marooned in Iraq)
2000 A Time for Drunken Horses

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