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Said Mohamadi, Behnaz Jafari, Bahman Ghobadi, Mohamad Karim Rahmati, Mayas Rostami

Directed by: Samira Makhmalbaf
Written by: Samira Makhmalbaf, Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Produced by: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Marco Muller
Distributor: Kimstim Films

US: 06/12/02 UK: 00/00/02

Iranian Kurdistan, near the border with Iraq. A group of itinerant teachers wander in search of pupils. After using their blackboards, which they carry on their backs, to take cover from an army helicopter, the group split up. One teacher, Saïd (Saeed Mohamadi), encounters an old man who asks him to read a letter from his son. Another, Reeboir, (Bahman Ghobadi) meets a party of boys carrying contraband stolen goods to be smuggled across the border; he tries to persuade them to accept him as a teacher. Saïd joins up with some nomads from Iraq trying to find their way back home. He offers his blackboard as a pallet to carry an ill old man and uses it as dowry to marry the old man's daughter Halaleh, (Behnaz Jafari) a mother with a young son. When one of the young smugglers injures himself, Reeboir chops up his blackboard for a splint. The boys use a herd of goats as camouflage to cross the border, but guards open fire. The nomads take cover from the gunfire, and despite their distrust, Saïd leads them to the border. Halaleh decides to cross over with them; she and Saïd divorce, and she keeps the blackboard.
This is most definitely an art-house flick.

6 Dec/New York Times: Iranian Filmmaker Assists Afghan Cinema's Rebirth

New York Post/New York Times

Dave Reviews Out Loud/
Ebert & Roeper





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