A Time for Drunken Horses

A Time for Drunken Horses (Kurdish: Dema hespên serxweş;[1][2] Persian: زمانی برای مستی اسب‌ها, Zamani barayé masti-e asbha) is a 2000 Kurdish language film directed by Bahman Ghobadi and produced in Iran. It was a co-winner of the Caméra d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000.[3] Leonard Maltin notes that the film was "written by the director and shot in his native village, with a cast of extraordinary non-professionals."[4]

A Time for Drunken Horses
A Time for Drunken Horses.jpg
Film poster
Directed byBahman Ghobadi
Written byBahman Ghobadi
Produced byBahman Ghobadi
  • Nezhad Ekhtiar-dini
  • Amaneh Ekhtiar-dini
  • Madi Ekhtiar-dini
  • Ayoub Ahmadi
  • Jouvin Younessi
Music byHossein Alizadeh
Release date
  • 2000 (2000)
Running time
80 minutes


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 Iraqi side of the border. When they arrive the mother of the groom refuses to accept Madi and agrees to give Ayoub and his uncle a mule as compensation. Ayoub decides to take the mule to Iraq where it is worth more, and sell it to pay for his brother's surgery. Some smugglers let him come along with him. They use mules to carry goods and feed them whisky allowing them to better survive the harsh mountain winter. But they are ambushed while heading to the border, and the horses are too drunk to carry on. Ayoub narrowly manages to escape, and the last shot is of him and his brother crossing the border.


  • Ayoub Ahmadi
  • Rojin Younessi
  • Amaneh Ekhtiar-dini
  • Madi Ekhtiar-dini
  • Kolsolum Ekhtiar-dini
  • Karim Ekhtiar-dini
  • Rahman Salehi
  • Osman Karimi
  • Nezhad Ekhtiar-dini


Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes has an 85% "fresh" score based on 35 reviews.[5] Leonard Maltin gave the film 3½ (out of 4) stars, stating the following: "The everyday struggle that these children go through just to survive is starkly, movingly conveyed."[4]


Home mediaEdit

The film was released on VHS in letterbox format on 29 July 2003.[6] Lorber Films (Kino) released it on DVD in Region 1 on 15 February 2011, with English subtitles.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Dema Hespên Serxweş(Herêma Kurdistanê, Iran): Şahesera ku kêm tê zanîn" (in Kurdish). Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Hevpeyvîn bi Bahman Ghobadi re".
  3. ^ "Cannes prizewinners". Special Broadcasting Service. 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  4. ^ a b Leonard Maltin, editor. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, 2015 Edition: The Modern Era. Signet, 2014.
  5. ^ "Zamani barayé masti asbha (A Time for Drunken Horses)(Intoxication for Horses)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Time for Drunken Horses". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  7. ^ "A Time for Drunken Horses". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 23 September 2019.

External linksEdit