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  • Drama, Foreign, New Wave, War , produced in 2000 Iran, Italy, Japan
  • Actors: Bahman Ghobadi, Said Mohamadi, Behnaz Jafari, Rafat Moradi Kleur
  • Directed by: Samira Makhmalbaf
  • Rating: 6.9 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: Hauling blackboards on their backs, two educators venture into the desolate mountainous terrain of Iranian Kurdistan to promote literacy. Going separate ways, the teachers find themselves latching on to respective groups journeying to the Iraqi border. Reeboir (Bahman Ghobadi) joins a group of children acting as "mules" smuggling contraband into Iraq. Said (Said Mohamadi) meets with a group of elderly Iraqi Kurds who intend to return to their homeland. One of the old men wishes to see his daughter married before he dies and Said, with only his blackboard as a dowry, obliges. The instructors attempt to teach an uninterested populace as their precarious trips lead to the armed border.

    Samira Makhmalbaf became the youngest recipient of the Grand Jury Prize in the history of the Cannes Film Festival when she earned the award for this, her sophomore effort, at the age of 20. Co-scripted with her father Mohsen Makhmalbaf, one of the world's most respected filmmakers, BLACKBOARDS combines pathos with an unusual sense of humor. The young filmmaker displays a commanding sense of the medium working primarily with non-actors and creating an intense military threat without showing a single gun or soldier.
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