Become an ICA Member today and fund the ideas of tomorrow
Sign up
to emails
The Machine That Kills Bad People: The House is Black + Blackboards
Institute of Contemporary Arts

Blackboards, Dir. Samira Makhmalbaf, 2000, 35 mm, colour, sound, 85 min.

Iranian New Wave director Samira Makhmalbaf’s award-winning Blackboards (2000) screens alongside renowned poet and filmmaker Forough Farrokhzad’s acclaimed documentary short The House is Black (1962).

Winner of a Special Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival in 2000, Blackboards follows a group of itinerant Kurdish teachers as they stoically traverse the remote landscape near the Iran-Iraq border. Wearily carrying their chalkboards, the men fruitlessly search for pupils while confronting the devastating effects of war on the region.

The House is Black is the only film made by the late poet Forough Farrokhzad (1935 – 1967). This influential and early essay film follows the daily lives of leprosy victims in the Baba Baghi colony in Iran, accompanied by poetic narration by Farrokhzad.
The Machine That Kills Bad People is, of course, the cinema – a medium that is so often and so visibly in service of a crushing status quo but which, in the right hands, is a fatal instrument of beauty, contestation, wonder, politics, poetry, new visions, testimonies, histories, dreams. It is also a film club devoted to showing work – ‘mainstream’ and experimental, known and unknown, historical and contemporary – that takes up this task. The group borrowed their name from the Roberto Rossellini film of the same title, and find inspiration in the eclectic juxtapositions of Amos Vogel’s groundbreaking New York film society Cinema 16.

The Machine That Kills Bad People is held bi-monthly in the ICA Cinema and is programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz and Ben Rivers.

The House is Black, Dir. Forough Farrokhzad, 1962, 35mm, black and white, sound, 22 min.

Blackboards, Dir. Samira Makhmalbaf, 2000, 35 mm, colour, sound, 85 min.
06:45 pm
Wed, 10 Jul 2019
Cinema 1

£7 Full, £5 Green/Concs, £3 Blue Members

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated.

All programme on Cinema 3 is free to ICA members. Join today to enjoy membership benefits.

Essay by Sara Saljoughi