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 byForugh Farrokhzad
Written byForugh Farrokhzad
Produced byEbrahim Golestan
Release date
  • 1963 (1963)
Running time
22 minutes

The House Is Black (Persian: خانه سیاه است) is an acclaimed Iranian documentary short film directed by Forugh 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][2] 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.[3] It was the only film she directed before her death in 1967. After shooting this film she adopted a child from the colony.[4][5]

Although the film attracted little attention outside Iran when released, it has since been recognized 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."[6] In 1963, the film was awarded the grand prize for the category documentary at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in West Germany.[7]


  1. ^ "The House is Black" – via
  2. ^ Bekhrad, Joobin (2020-04-06). "What an Iranian film about a leper colony can teach us about coronavirus". the Guardian. Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  3. ^ 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. 14 (6): 427. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Scutts, Joanna (2020-11-19). "Feminize Your Canon: Forough Farrokhzad". The Paris Review. Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  5. ^ Milani, Farzaneh (December 15, 1999). "Farroḵzād, Forūḡ-zamān". Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation. Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  6. ^ Eric Henderson (February 22, 2005). "The House Is Black". Slant. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  7. ^ "Overlooked No More: Forough Farrokhzad, Iranian Poet Who Broke Barriers of Sex and Society". The New York Times. 2019-01-30. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-02-05.


  • 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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