War is a devastating and miserable time. War stories usually focus on combat and the soldiers experiences. However, during wartime, everybody suffers. Cities are destroyed, homes are ruined, fields are burned and children are left as orphans. Children who grow up during times of war, are robbed of their childhood and forced to mature in order to deal with their misfortunate circumstances. The film Turtles can Fly illustrates how children survived during the 2003 War in Iraq.
It shows the loss and the havoc that the war brings to these children's lives. Specifically one girl who turned to suicide after she was raped and had a son that she was really too young to care for. The film shows us a bleak environment. The children live in small tents that are cramped, the burned hills are naked and scrapes of tanks and cars lie around everywhere. These children had to work for food by clearing mine fields which is a very dangerous and tedious job.
Unprotected many of the children have come into close contact with the mines going off resulting in loss of some limbs. Thirteen year old Argin, was raped by men who attacked her village and killed her family. She was left with the horrifying memory of the attack and a blind son who she was forced to take care of. She is only a child however, the attack has forced her to grow up and become responsible for another life. Within North America a child of thirteen is no where near mature enough to take care of themselves never mind a life of another.
Her relationship with her son is forced by her brother. The young boy is seen as an obstacle that holds both her and her brother back from leaving and moving on with their lives. Her inner hatred for men, anger about her current situation and the anguish she feels everyday is reveled though her silence and avoidance of human connection beyond her brother and son. Argin’s inability to cope with the loss of her family and her past leads her to the resentment of her son and the loss of the will to live.
This hatred for the child is due to what the child represents he is from the seed of the men who raped her and kill her family. Argin tries multiple times to abandon the child, but each time someone would help the child survive. Argin feared that if she stayed in the camp it did not matter whether the soldiers were Iraqi or American, they would hurt her just the same. The succession of horrible events within her life made her loss hope for anything good to happen. She could not find an answer to remove the pain and hatred so she drowned her son to be rid any trace of her rape.
Before jumping off the mountain peak and releasing herself for the pain that she had been though. This film is one that leave a dramatic impression within the people of North America, to actually see the condition and experiences that these children had to endure were way more than an adult could even handle in our society. It gives us a reality check into what we take for granted. It also leads me to question how much worse must it have been for the children who lived during this war in Iraq and how do they cope with their experiences.