The House Is Black

The House Is Black
(Khaneh siah ast)

The House is Black (خانه سیاه است)
Directed by Forough Farrokhzad
Written by Forough Farrokhzad
Release dates
  • 1963 (1963)
Running time
22 minutes
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.


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