1961-1970CultDocumentaryForugh FarrokhzadIran

Forugh Farrokhzad – Khaneh siah ast AKA The House Is Black (1963) (DVD)

From Village Voice: In 1962, beloved and controversial poetess Forugh Farrokhzad went to Azerbaijan and made this short film on the grounds of a leper colony, presaging in 22 minutes the entirety of the Iranian new wave and the international quasi-genre of “poetic nonfiction.” It’s a blackjack of a movie, soberly documenting the village of lost ones with an astringently ethical eye, freely orchestrating scenes and simply capturing others, while on the soundtrack Farrokhzad reads her own poetry in a plaintive murmur—this in the same year as Vivre sa Vie and La Jetée. (Chris Marker has long been a passionate fan, as has Abbas Kiarostami, whose The Wind Will Carry Us owes its title and climactic verse to Farrokhzad.) It was the only substantial piece of cinema Farrokhzad ever made. Five years later, having already attained near legendary status in Iran for her writing, she was killed in a car crash at the age of 32, guaranteeing her posthumous fame as a feminist touchstone for generations of angry Persian women.

Also included in the DVD, the short documentary :

Ebrahim Golestan – Yek atash (A Fire / Un Feu)
1961 – Iran – 24 min

“In the spring of 1958, in the region of Khuzestan, at the heart of the Iranian oil industry and of Persian civilization, an oil well explodes during a drilling. The eruption is endless; the fire is powerful, indestructible, and gigantic. It is a dragon. In any case, that is how it is presented in A Fire.” (Stéfani de Loppinot, Cinéma 07)

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), formed upon nationalization of the British Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, employed film systematically, producing many films on oil and petrochemical subjects. It also made films depicting Iran’s progress and modernization, highlighting the role of the Shah and NIOC in that direction. Under its auspices, Ebrahim Golestan directed A FIRE (1961), a highly visual treatment of a seventy-day oil well fire in the Khuzestan region of southwestern Iran. This film was edited by the Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad and won two awards at the Venice Film Festival in 1961.

Born in 1922 in Shiraz, Golestan has been a pioneer in filmmaking and literature for more than half a century, with far-reaching influence on generations of Iranians in various fields of art. He is the founder of the Golestan Film Studio and directed, among other films, the groundbreaking documentary Wave, Coral and Rock (1965). He now lives in London.

“Au printemps 1958, dans la région pétrolière de Khuzestan, coeur de l’industrie pétrolière iranienne et de la civilisation perse, une nappe de gaz explose lors d’un forage. La source est sans fin, le feu puissant, indestructible et gigantesque. C’est un dragon. En tout cas, c’est ainsi qu’il apparaît dans “Un feu”. Ce documentaire filmé à la Bolex 16mm, dans l’urgence de l’évènement, est en effet beaucoup plus que le simple récit de la catastrophe. La force du film tient à ses rencontres fortement contrastées, pourtant finalement si proches, entre le réel et l’imaginaire, le jour et la nuit, l’infiniment grand et l’infiniment petit, le crissement des ferrailles, le râle sourd du feu et le chant des hommes, le sauvage et le dompté, le sec et le fertile. “Un feu” recompose la communauté humaine, la puissance ancestrale des astres, une terre en devenir”
(d’après Stefani de Loppinot, Cinéma 07).
le film a obtenu le Mercure d’Or au Festival de Venise en 1961.

Audio…………: English (2-channel AC3) A Fire
Farsi (2-channel AC3) The House Is Black
Subtitles……..: French, Spanish, French (hard subs, The House Is Black)
Video Format…..: PAL
Aspect Ratio…..: 1.37:1 OAR
DVD Source…….: DVD5
DVD Format…….: Fullscreen
DVD Distributor..: French magazine Cinema #7
Program……….: DVD Decrypter,PGCDemux, SubtitleMaestro,Muxman,Vobblanker,SubtitleEdit, IFOEdit
Bit Rate………: 8.28 Mb/sec

Menus…………: [x] Untouched, intact.
Video…………: [x] Untouched, intact.
DVD-Audio……..: [x] Untouched, intact.
DVD-Extras…….: [x] Untouched, intact.


Subtitles: French (hardcoded), Spanish, English

One Comment

  1. THANK YOU! One of my favorite films of all time, and I’ve only ever had a horrible quality version of it. This means a lot.

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