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The House Is Black (1963)
"Khaneh siah ast" (original title)

8.0
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Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness," of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Forugh Farrokhzad ...
Narrator (uncredited)
Ebrahim Golestan ...
Narrator (uncredited)
Hossein Mansouri ...
Himself (uncredited)
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Storyline

Set in a leper colony in the north of Iran, The House is Black juxtaposes "ugliness," of which there is much in the world as stated in the opening scenes, with religion and gratitude.

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Release Date:

24 February 2008 (UK)  »

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The House Is Black  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Narrator: The universe is pregnant with inertia and has given birth to time.
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Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.2 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE HOUSE IS BLACK {Short} (Forugh Farrokhzad, 1963) **1/2
10 January 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

To begin with, I was only vaguely aware of this Iranian documentary (albeit one that is regularly featured in all-time best film lists, and which is why I got to it now) and unfamiliar with its country of origin's cinema at large. It is a purportedly educational yet necessarily off-putting look – in unflinching detail! – at a leper colony, where one is actually stunned to learn these still exist in our day and age! For the record, the movie I was most reminded of while watching this was Werner Herzog's similarly matter-of-fact and unsentimental (yet, likewise, understandably dispiriting) EVEN DWARFS STARTED SMALL (1970).

While isolated, so as to have their disease contained, the members of the misshapen community involved are nevertheless seen going through many of the typical social functions – school, recreation, even praying! Whether the first (the film's very title coming up in an impromptu reply during class) and last (despite its striving to achieve a lyrical quality) among these are undertaken of their own volition is anybody's guess, indeed doubtful – since the former is basically futile and the latter not only ironic but downright cruel, if you ask me! With this in mind, it is clear that they enjoy themselves most in their leisure time, however they opt to spend it: amusingly, one man fancies himself a singer…even if he can only muster a loud racket that seems to exasperate his 'colleagues' as much as they do the viewer!


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