- Actors: Said Mohamadi, Behnaz Jafari, Bahman Ghobadi, Mohamad Karim Rahmati, Rafat Moradi
- Directors: Samira Makhmalbaf
- Writers: Samira Makhmalbaf, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Zaheer Qureshi
- Producers: Abbas Saghazsaz, Marco Mueller, Mohamad Ahmadi, Mohsen Makhmalbaf
- Format: PAL
- Language: Kurdish
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: Artificial Eye
- DVD Release Date: 30 July 2001
- Run Time: 82 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00005MFI5
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,165 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Blackboards [DVD] 
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DVD Special Features:
"Making Of" Documentary
Kurdish with English Subtitles
Dolby Digital 2.0
Blackboards is an unusual film. First, it's from Iran; second it's directed by a woman, Samira Makhmalbaf; third, she's only 22. Set near the border with Iraq, the film follows a group of itinerant teachers who wander the countryside looking for students, carrying their blackboards with them. At various points a blackboard comes in useful as cover from gunfire, as a stretcher, and, chopped up, as a splint. Though the film is full of social observation, it functions mainly as allegory. Despite the eagerness of the wandering teachers to impart knowledge, their efforts are largely in vain, and though the film has moments of humour its tone is ultimately rather pessimistic. The director is the daughter of Mohsen Makhmalbaf, himself a noted Iranian director who wrote Samira's earlier film The Apple, a deceptively simple story of two girls who are kept for years in seclusion before social workers order their release. Blackboards is a more elusive film and won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's thought provoking, often moving and full of insights into an unfamiliar world. --Edward BuscombeSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Many Iranian films address social issues, but some directors all too readily press the obvious emotional buttons. "Blackboards" does not do this and is a harder nut to crack, but it repays repeated viewings with deeper appreciation. As such I believe it successfully "universalizes the particular", and is likely to retain its significance when other films have dropped by the wayside.
Also included is (younger brother) Maysan Makhmalbaf's 73 minute documentary "How Samira made 'The Blackboard'". This is an important document in its own right, and covers far more than your standard "Making of.." featurette. As one example among many, there is an extended discussion of Samira's debut film "The Apple" including current interviews with the two children of that film. Samira's acceptance speech at Cannes, in which she highlights the push for reform and democracy in her country, resonates all the more strongly now in light of events of the intervening few years. Essential viewing.Read more ›
This is a fine example of Iranian cinema and well worth watching. It also contains some interesting extras. Samira comes across as a very independently minded woman, which must make life difficult for her in Iran at times. Highly recommended viewing.
'Blackboards' reminded me SO much of another story of Iranian children being mules for contraband and risking life and limb to sell them in bordering Iraq - the uniquely titled 'A Time for Drunken Horses'. That remains one of the most beguiling and humbling movies ever made and remains a definite favourite of mine.
Some (well, let's be honest, most) scenes portraying the out-of-work schoolteacher, traipsing around the arid mountains looking for pupils to teach and how he gets married with his only tool of the trade being the barter, are eye-opening. Unbelievable, actually but as the amateur cast are obviously not acting this out for fun and the very seriousness of their plight, this is all very far from being a joke.
The honesty of it all makes one humble simply to be alive, let alone being alive in our comparatively comfortable West. Like I said in my 'Drunken Horses...' review, one to show your children when they start moaning that their expensive trainers are the wrong colour.
I don't think that the details of the plot are needed here. It's a short film and a lot happens, but slowly - and naturally. But, I will say that you'll never have seen so many uses for a board that's painted black in your life before.
This is essential, if minor Iranian cinema. If you do come across it, either on TV or whatever source you can, make time for it. It's unforgettable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quirky, thought provoking, different kind of film to mainstream American pulp, intelligent, well made, haunting,helps to understand the importance of getting an education.Published on 11 Oct. 2013 by Brian Stephens
I run the Amnesty International Club in a girls' school and two years ago, during Refugee Week, I had the bright idea of showing a relevant film across two consecutive lunchtimes. Read morePublished on 17 Dec. 2012 by J. J. Ward