Forough Farrokhzad

1934 – 1967
Airing The House is Black (1963) on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 2:00 AM on TCM

Forough Farrokhzad was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1935. The third of seven children, Farrokhzad attended school until the ninth grade before attending an all-girls’ school where she learned to paint and sew. She married poet and writer Parviz Shapour when she was 16 years old and had her first and only child a year later. After divorcing Shapour, Farrokhzad spent time in Europe before returning to Iran where she met filmmaker and writer Ebrahim Golestan. Farrokhzad began to write poetry that many considered controversial due to its feminist themes and being vastly different from the traditional poetry of its time.

In 1962, she traveled to Tabriz to make the documentary short film The House is Black ­(1963), which she directed, edited and narrated.  The picture focuses on Iranians affected by leprosy and is significant for being a forerunner in the Iranian New Wave movement. Farrokhzad died in a car accident in 1967, at 32 years old. Her final collection of her poetry, Let Us Believe in the Dawn of the Cold Season, was published posthumously in 1974 to great influence and acclaim.

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The House is Black ­(1963)