IMDb > Blackboards (2000)

Blackboards (2000) More at IMDbPro »Takhté siah (original title)


Overview

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6.9/10   1,735 votes »
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Director:
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View company contact information for Blackboards on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 September 2000 (Italy) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Itinerant Kurdish teachers, carrying blackboards on their backs, look for students in the hills and villages of Iran... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
This is Not a Film – review
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 24 March 2012, 5:09 PM, PDT)

The Song of Sparrows
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 11 February 2008)

User Reviews:
A brave, ambitious work. See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Said Mohamadi ... Said

Behnaz Jafari ... Halaleh

Bahman Ghobadi ... Reeboir
Mohamad Karim Rahmati ... Father
Rafat Moradi ... Ribvar
Mayas Rostami ... Young boy storyteller
Saman Akbari ... Group leader
Ahmad Bahrami ... Marriage registrar
Mohamad Moradi ... Match maker
Karim Moradi ... Old man
Hassan Mohamadi ... Child
Rasool Mohamadi ... The boy porter
Somaye Veisee ... Little girl

Directed by
Samira Makhmalbaf 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mohsen Makhmalbaf 
Samira Makhmalbaf 
Zaheer Qureshi  story supervisor

Produced by
Mohamad Ahmadi .... executive producer
Shôzô Ichiyama .... producer: T-Mark (as Shozo Ichiyama)
Mohsen Makhmalbaf .... producer: Fabrica Cinema
Marco Mueller .... producer: Fabrica Cinema
Abbas Saghazsaz .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Mohammad Reza Darvishi 
 
Cinematography by
Ebrahim Ghafori 
 
Film Editing by
Mohsen Makhmalbaf 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marzieh Makhmalbaf .... assistant director (as Marzieh Meshkini)
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb .... assistant director
Kave Moeenfar .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Behroz Shahamat .... sound
 
Other crew
Babak Karimi .... consultant
Said Mohamadi .... consultant
 
Thanks
Takeshi Kitano .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Takhté siah" - Iran (original title)
"The Blackboard" - International (English title)
See more »
Runtime:
Australia:85 min | France:84 min | New Zealand:84 min | Spain:88 min | UK:85 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Certification:
Australia:PG | France:U | New Zealand:PG | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Singapore:PG | Singapore:M18 (DVD rating) | Spain:13 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | UK:PG

Did You Know?

Quotes:
Halaleh:[to Said] My heart is like a train. At every station, someone gets on or off. But there is someone who never gets off. My son.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
A brave, ambitious work., 2 April 2001
Author: Alice Liddel (-darragh@excite.com) from dublin, ireland

'Blackboards' is one of those films that has divided audiences between fanatical admirers and grumbling dissenters. The former admire the director's skilful juggling between formalism and humanism, individual quests and social movements, private moments and public set-pieces; her filming of landscape; her eliciting of unsentimental, compelling performances from an amateur cast; her insistence on enigma and loose ends; her portrait of life in extreme, harrowing conditions. The dissenters bemoan her fudging of politics - sure, she shows the exploitation of children, the mass displacement of the Kurds, and the murderous terror lurking behind every rock, but by refusing to put these in a contextual framework, such depictions are blunted in political force.

there is a whiff of misogyny to me in these complaints. It's okay for men to make ambitious, universalising statements, but women must remain concerned with the local. Presumably Makhmalbaf would have been more political if she had concentrated on authenticating the patterns on the women's dresses. Of course, culture in general has moved towards the local: with post-modernism, very few artists have had the confidence to think on a large scale (I don't mean make large-scale films, which any fule kan do).

This is presumably why 'Blackboards' reminds me of older types of artists. Most immediately, it could be a massive Beckett play, full of wandering vagrants in a vast, desolate landscape, peopled with Lucky-like slaves, surrounded by an unseen, God-like menace, occasionally erupting in capricious violence. Like Beckett, there is no real beginning or end, no context, just a sense of never-ending repetition with the only possible relief in death.

Like Beckett (eg 'Waiting for Godot'), culture has no place in such an environment, indeed, seems a grotesque irrelevance, an incomprehensible babble, traces scraped in a landscape no-one can read now, never mind in the future. And yes, the film is as unremittingly hopeless as a Beckett play - there is no progress or redemption here. But it is as bleakly funny too - eg the whole marriage farrago between Said and Hahaleh; the game of marbles watched by her son; the tragicomic, very Beckettian inability of her aged father to relieve himself.

In the film world, 'Blackboards' reminds me of no-one so much as Angelopolous, especially in a film like 'The Travelling players', where a group of itinerant outsiders observe and become absorbed in an unfamiliar community. Makhmalbaf has Angelopolous' confidence in allegory, a way of dramatising in mythic form life and displacement under a totalitarian regime, without in any way 'abstracting' the violence and pain.

The empty landscapes suddenly being inexplicably over-run by faceless crowds also has the millenarial feel of Andersen's recent 'Songs from the second floor', or later Bunuel, from whom the theme of the journey, coming across strange, surreal strangers (eg the uncanny scene with the masked gardener whose son languishes in an Iraqi jail), or images such as the blackboard-hauling men like grounded birds watching blackbirds in the sky, and overhearing another, ominous, unseen flying object, derives. There are many, many ways of being political.

Unlike these masters, however, who prefer irony and distant tableaux, Makhmalbaf, through restless handheld camerawork, gets right in between her characters and makes us feel for them.

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