Parents' Guide to

Have You Ever Seen Fireflies?

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Turkish woman's quirky life; language, social commentary.

Movie NR 2021 114 minutes
Have You Ever Seen Fireflies? Poster Image

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Have You Ever Seen Fireflies? feels talky and overlong, perhaps the inevitable failings of a stage play ineptly transplanted to film. The lead character's life from adolescence to her seventies is portrayed by the same 30-ish actor, making her barely believable as a teenager and comically miscast in a gray rag-mop wig and unconvincing aging makeup. Add to that a talky, jokey script, and a decision to play the lead character as a kind of aggressive stand-up comedian who enjoys tossing acid one-liners at everyone who gets in her way, and we are left to wonder why we would spend the time to hear the life story she wants to tell. Why indeed is she being interviewed by the videographers is the recurring question, and it's never answered.

Given the attempt at historical context as a life plays against Turkish national events, this may have appeal to a Turkish audience with vivid memories of the happenings described but, despite some endearing moments, it may seem contrived and preachy to anyone else. Attempts at profundity abound, but blanket statements scattered throughout just feel like breadcrumbs dropped haphazardly rather than a coherent world view.

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