7.0/10
2,238
23 user 44 critic

Blackboards (2000)

Takhté siah (original title)
Itinerant Kurdish teachers, carrying blackboards on their backs, look for students in the hills and villages of Iran, near the Iraqi border during the Iran-Iraq war. Said falls in with a ... See full summary »

Director:

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Apple (1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After twelve years of imprisonment by their own parents, two sisters are finally released by social workers to face the outside world for the first time.

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf
Stars: Massoumeh Naderi, Zahra Naderi, Ghorban Ali Naderi
Asbe du-pa (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A wealthy boy hires a poor child to carry him around like a horse.

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf
Stars: Ziya Mirza Mohamad, Haron Ahad, Gol-Ghotai
Panj é asr (2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In a post-Taliban Afghanistan a young woman (Agheleh Rezaie) attends school against her conservative father's will, hoping to learn more about democracy to fulfill her dream of being the country's next president.

Director: Samira Makhmalbaf
Stars: Agheleh Rezaie, Abdolgani Yousefrazi, Razi Mohebi
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Young Iranian Kurdish siblings try to save the youngest of them, who is seriously ill.

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Ayoub Ahmadi, Rojin Younessi, Amaneh Ekhtiar-dini
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During the war between Iran and Iraq, a group of Iranian Kurd musicians set off on an almost impossible mission. They will try to find Hanareh, a singer with a magic voice who crossed the ... See full summary »

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Shahab Ebrahimi, Faegh Mohamadi, Allah-Morad Rashtian
Bicycleran (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The wife of Nasim, an Afghan immigrant in Iran, is gravely ill. He needs money to pay for her care, but his day labor digging wells does not pay enough. A friend connects Nasim to a two-bit... See full summary »

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Mahshid Afsharzadeh, Firouz Kiani, Samira Makhmalbaf
Half Moon (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Mamo, an old and legendary Kurdish musician living in Iran, plans to give one final concert in Iraqi Kurdistan. After seven months of trying to get a permit and rounding up his ten sons, he... See full summary »

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Ismail Ghaffari, Allah-Morad Rashtian, Farzin Sabooni
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Near the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of an American invasion, refugee children like 13-year-old Kak (Ebrahim), gauge and await their fate.

Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Stars: Soran Ebrahim, Avaz Latif, Saddam Hossein Feysal
Sokout (1998)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Everyday, 10-year old Khorsid takes the bus to his work at an instrument maker's shop and everyday something unexpected happens.

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Tahmineh Normatova, Nadereh Abdelahyeva, Goibibi Ziadolahyeva
Gabbeh (1996)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An elderly couple go about their routine of cleaning their gabbeh (a intricately-designed rug), while bickering gently with each other. Magically, a young woman appears, helping the two ... See full summary »

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Shaghayeh Djodat, Hossein Moharami, Rogheih Moharami
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After an Afghanistan-born woman who lives in Canada receives a letter from her suicidal sister, she takes a perilous journey through Afghanistan to try to find her.

Director: Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Stars: Nelofer Pazira, Hassan Tantai, Ike Ogut
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young girl zealously wants to go to school and learn to read and write. Almost everywhere she is met with hostility or indifference. The only young boy who takes her to his school is ... See full summary »

Director: Hana Makhmalbaf
Stars: Abbas Alijome, Abdolali Hoseinali, Nikbakht Noruz
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Said Mohamadi ... Said
... Halaleh
... 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
Edit

Storyline

Itinerant Kurdish teachers, carrying blackboards on their backs, look for students in the hills and villages of Iran, near the Iraqi border during the Iran-Iraq war. Said falls in with a group of old men looking for their bombed-out village; he offers to guide them, and takes as his wife Halaleh, the clan's lone woman, a widow with a young son. Reeboir attaches himself to a dozen pre-teen boys weighed down by contraband they carry across the border; they're mules, always on the move. Said and Reeboir try to teach as their potential students keep walking. Danger is close; armed soldiers patrol the skies, the roads, and the border. Is there a role for a teacher? Is there hope? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 September 2000 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Blackboards  »

Filming Locations:


Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,417, 8 December 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,417, 8 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

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 »

Connections

Featured in Samira cheghoneh 'Takhté siah' rol sakht (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Samira Makhmalbaf's second feature is downright rich: it's courageous, full of humanity, and sensitive understanding
6 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

BLACKBOARDS is a human story - an arduous one at that. It affirms the tenacity of human spirits. Its hard medicine content could be uneasy for some to bear. At its core, there is warmth a-glowing beneath it all. Writer-director Samira Makhmalbaf is a true artist - she included subtle visual poetic accents. Shooting along the rugged terrain of Kurdistan, nearing the border between Iran and Iraq, it's barren of vegetation, full of treacherous rocks as people traverse the steep mountain paths and windy troughs. I really appreciate a particular detail scene: from the held wide-shot of a group of teachers with blackboards strapped to their backs, standing abreast at a mountain road clearing - paused, camera quietly cuts to a close-up of a pair of feet with 'billowing' fabric of the trousers. We need no sound effect of whistling wind, the shot was at once poetic and effective. How succinct and direct in expressing the moment, Samira did.

For a 20-year old woman Iranian director in her second feature film, Samira Makhmalbaf is awesome - sensitive, perceptive, mature in her viewpoint, with bold persistence against all odds to complete her project. Keen awareness of the state of affairs her film is focused on - not so much as making a political statement, she's more in earnest depicting simple everyday things: the mundane human needs of the wandering Nomads yearning to be home; the young 'mule' boys struggling for meager living yet looking out for each other; teachers seeking pupils in exchange for food. It's philosophical: through the course of the journey, the fate of the blackboards goes through transitions as situations demand - even "let go." Survival and adaptability co-exist.

Samira has a good mentor - her father Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who is a collaborator on the writing of "Blackboards" and her first feature, "Apple, The" 1998 (a bold unique storytelling in docu-drama format). She also has the expert assistance of cinematographer Ebrahim Ghafori, who previously worked with her on "Apple." Bahman Ghobadi is the actor who portrayed the teacher who ran into the expedition of the young 'mule' boys with contraband goods on their backs. He was the writer-director-producer of the film "A Time for Drunken Horses" 2000, and here in "Blackboards," it's déjà vu - this time is not of snowy setting, but included brief dramatic storyline between him and the boys. Reality is still bitter truth, but Samira kept the element of humanity intact.

Other efforts from the Makhmalbaf family include: "Day I Became A Woman, The" 2000 by Marzieh Meshkini, Mohsen's wife. "How Samira Made the Blackboards" (it'd be interesting to see how Samira shot the film in such arduous circumstances and with mostly non-professional cast with wide age differences) by Mezssam Makhmalbaf, Samira's brother. Father Mohsen Makhmalbaf did "Gabbeh" 1996 and "Kandahar" 2001.

More Iranian films? Try writer-director Majid Majidi's "Baran" 2001 - a poignant story about a young man (17-year old) in Tehran, how he matures through his deeds in trying to help an illegal Afghan of a poor family - it's a rich human story from the filmmaker who gave us "Color of Paradise" 2000 and "Children of Heaven" 1999.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial