Red Heart
Iraq, 2012, 78 minutes, SD
Red Heart Synopsis

A Romeo and Juliet like love story set in Kurdish Iraq. Two teenagers flee from their families when one of them is to be married against her will. With Soran Ibrahim ("Turtles Can Fly").


Norwegian director Halkawt Mustafa, of Iraqi Kurdish origin, was the first to shoot a film in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mustafa's debut tells the story of teenagers Shirin and Soran. They are on the run because the Shirin doesn't want to enter a forced marriage. But when Soran is arrested, Shirin has to fend for herself in the big city - without male protection. After the ordeal, Shirin asks herself: does she still love Soran?

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Reviewed by jeteli
As a first feature film of young director Halkawt Mustafa, this is genuinely impressive! The sweeping landscapes and the impressive cinematography entices viewers and the simply- told story, which unfolds... more
As a first feature film of young director Halkawt Mustafa, this is genuinely impressive! The sweeping landscapes and the impressive cinematography entices viewers and the simply- told story, which unfolds scene after scene will hold you captive.  Beyond the romance and forbidden love, this film also tackles the many conflicts of a life lived with no real direction where it's leading and of a woman's very trusting character, putting her into real danger.  Very interesting to know that the director was born right in the place where the film was extensively shot, in Kurdistan.  Commendable acting performances especially by the actress who portrays the role of Shirin,  she moves and acts naturally but she has beguiling features and expressions that will move you.  Director Mustafa has a very promising future in film making. Do check out this film folks.
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Reviewed by nikkareyes
I am in awe with the conservative nature as manifested in the place where the film takes place. Women are submissive to men and the fathers have the final say... more
I am in awe with the conservative nature as manifested in the place where the film takes place. Women are submissive to men and the fathers have the final say on whom their daughters will marry.  Sirin and Soran were brave enough to challenge the standards dictated by their local society and they fled away. A touching love story with impressive cinematography, well-framed shots and the vistas were simply breathtaking. Aside from the intricacies of a romance this also tackles the issue on women's condition and freedom and gives viewers a peek on Kurdish traditions and way of life. 
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Reviewed by sharonmae
Just how much suffering can a woman take? The character of Shirin moved me because she had to go through so much; being raped, abandoned, impregnated and left to beg... more
Just how much suffering can a woman take? The character of Shirin moved me because she had to go through so much; being raped, abandoned, impregnated and left to beg on the streets.  This succession of horrible events in her life couldn't have happened had she heed her father's wish to marry another man, but she chose her heart.  Unfortunately, the man she loves was unable to help her through the most trying times of her life.  Prison was her last resort so she can have food to eat and a roof on her head. There is an evident discrimination with unmarried women who bore a child in the place as depicted in the film.  There were some scenes where I wanted to cry foul, such as that scene wherein her boyfriend Soran visited her and upon seeing her very pregnant with child left immediately,  not waiting for any explanation why she became pregnant. In a way,  viewers will come to realize that maybe the negative things that happened were in a way Sirin's punishment, for disobeying her father. A touching and moving film that  will raise a lot of questions in your mind, especially on the issues concerning women.  Check it out and find out what became of Sirin and if this very sad and emotional story has a happy ending. 
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