Movie review: Bekas

By Sarah Lang

Add a comment
Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

"Dear God, please let me and my brother go to America and meet Superman." So says Kurdish boy Zana (Zamand Taha), a 6-year-old living in northern Iraq in 1990, when Kurds were desperate to escape Saddam Hussein. Orphaned and homeless but full of spirit, Zana and his 10-year-old brother, Dana (Sarwar Fazi), shine shoes to buy bread and sleep on rooftops. After glimpsing a Superman movie, the urchins set out for "the big city" of America on a donkey called Michael Jackson with a map they cannot read and a homemade notebook for a passport. Along the way, Dana preserves Zana's illusions about Superman and America so that life is beautiful for now. It's a beauty reflected in the desert tones and dappled light of this visually stunning film. Bekas, which means "parentless" in Kurdish, rests on the extraordinary performances of two first-time actors and the direction of Karzan Kader, whose family fled the country when he was 6. His semi-autobiographical feature could easily have been a depressing tale about the crushing of innocence. Instead, it's a fable-like story full of warmth, heart and hope.

Stars: 4/5
Cast: Zamand Taha, Sarwal Fazil, Diya Mariwan
Directors: Karzan Kader
Rating: M
Running time: 97 mins

Bekas is out now.

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 24 May 2017 23:21:25 Processing Time: 645ms