Blackboards (2002)

Samira Makmalbaf makes her sophomore feature outing with this bold, elliptical look at the plight of marginalized populations in modern Iran. The film opens with a group of Kurdish teachers lugging blackboards on their backs in the rocky… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 6, 2002
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004
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Critic Score: 74% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

When I first saw Blackboards three years ago I was surprised as well as puzzled that in some ways it reminded me of John Ford's 1950 western Wagon Master.

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Peter Howell
Toronto Star

There's no denying the strength of these simple images, and the bleak message of learning to sort out your real priorities in times of strife.

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Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies

The entire film is saved by its periphery, where Makhamalbaf stops trying to teach us a lesson.

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Erik Lundegaard
Seattle Times

Reeboir varies between a sweet smile and an angry bark, while Said attempts to wear down possible pupils through repetition. It has no affect on the Kurds, but it wore me down.

Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

A selection of scenes in search of a movie.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's a stunning lyrical work of considerable force and truth.

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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle

A heartening tale of small victories and enduring hope.

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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

Its metaphors are opaque enough to avoid didacticism, and the film succeeds as an emotionally accessible, almost mystical work.

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Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International

...a poignant and powerful narrative that reveals that reading writing and arithmetic are not the only subjects to learn in life.

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