The House Is Black

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The House Is Black
(Khaneh siah ast)
The house is black.jpg
The House is Black (خانه سیاه است)
Directed by Forough Farrokhzad
Written by Forough Farrokhzad
Release date
  • 1963 (1963)
Running time
22 minutes
Country Iran
Language Persian

The House Is Black (Persian: خانه سیاه است, Kẖạneh sy̰ạh ạst‎‎) is an acclaimed Iranian documentary short film directed by Forough Farrokhzad.

The film is a look at life and suffering in a leper colony and focuses on the human condition and the beauty of creation.[1] It is spliced with Farrokhzad's narration of quotes from the Old Testament, the Koran and her own poetry. The film features footage from the Bababaghi Hospice leper colony.[2] It was the only film she directed before her death in 1967. During shooting, she became attached to a child of two lepers, whom she later adopted.

Although the film attracted little attention outside Iran when released, it has since been recognised as a landmark in Iranian film. Reviewer Eric Henderson described the film as "[o]ne of the prototypal essay films, The House is Black paved the way for the Iranian New Wave."[3]


  1. ^ Sun, February 13, 2005; by Doug Cummings
  2. ^ Azizi, Mohammad Hossein; Bahadori, Moslem (November 2011). "A History of Leprosy in Iran during the 19th" (PDF). Archives of Iranian Medicine. Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences. p. 427. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ Eric Henderson (February 22, 2005). "The House is Black". Slant. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 


  • Hamid Dabashi, Masters & Masterpieces of Iranian Cinema, 451 p. (Mage Publishers, Washington, DC, 2007); Chapter II, pp. 39–70: Forough Farrokhzad; The House is Black. ISBN 0-934211-85-X

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