A Kurdish family is trying to survive after the death of its parents. Ayoub, the eldest boy in the family, becomes the head of the household and must do whatever work available to survive. Madi, Ayoub's handicapped brother, is in need of a medical operation. Ayoub goes to great lengths to collect money for the operation by smuggling truck tires with a group of Kurdish villagers near the Iran-Iraq border. Ayoub ultimately falls short of his intended goal and his uncle decides to marry off his sister in return for the groom's family financing Madi's operation on the Iranian side of the border. When they arrive the mother of the groom refuses to accepts Madi and agrees to give Ayoub and his uncle a mule as compensation. The smugglers use mules to carry goods and feed them liquor allowing them to better survive the harsh mountain winter. Near the border, Iranian soldiers seize the villagers'(and Ayoub's) merchandise.

"What makes A Time for Drunken Horses such a must-see film is not its powerful authenticity, but the fact that it's the most emotionally engaging film I've seen all year. I was hooked from the first minute, and despite the awful topic, there are many pleasures in this film. The proud humanity of the characters, their matter-of-fact acceptance of their awful lot, whether they're trudging through knee-deep snow or huddling on the floor of their huts. The sight of the doomed dwarf dangling from the back of a packing horse in a sack while the sister was being led away to her new husband is one of the most jaw-dropping images in recent memory."
A Time for Drunken Horses deserves to be seen, and seen again, by as many people as possible. Let's hope the Shooting Gallery will succeed in bringing this film to the remotest multiplex.

    Produced, written and directed by Bahman Ghobadi; in Kurdish and Farsi, with English subtitles. Released by the Shooting Gallery. Running time: 77 minutes. This film is not rated
    With Ayoub Ahmadi (Ayoub), Rojine Younessi (Rojine), Amaneh Ekhtiar-Dini (Amaneh) and Mehdi Ekhtiar-Dini (Madi).  From worldfilm.about.com

1. Best Film Award, Golden Camera (Caméra d'Or), Cannes Film Festival , France, 2000.
   2. Special Jury Award, Silver Hugo , Chicago International Film Festival , USA, 2000.
   3. Best Feature Award, Edinburgh Film Festival, Scotland, UK, 2000.
   4. Best Feature Award, Santa Fe Film Festival , Fort Lauderdale , USA, 2000.
   5. Grand Jury Award, São Paulo International Film Festival , Brazil, 2000.
   6. Best Feature, Banff International Film Festival, Canada, 2000.
   7. Special Jury Award, Gijon International Film Festival, Spain, 2000.
   8. Best feature Award, Children Film Festival , Isfahan , Iran, 2000.

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