Author Archives: Nick Kouhi

The Silence

Screenshot from Mohsen Makhmalbaf's 1998 film "The Silence", featuring actor Tahmineh Normatova holding a fruit next to his ear in front of a cluster of people

Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s The Silence (Sokout), the second in his ‘Poetic Trilogy’, is an entrancing entry in the longstanding tradition of children-centric films in Iranian Cinema. What seems an initially simple slice of social realism gradually reveals itself to be a broader meditation on Sufism and the spiritual rapture of all music. The film’s plot follows […]

The House is Black

A still image from "The House is Black" featuring a woman with her hands pressed against glass

For her first and, sadly, only foray into filmmaking, Forough Farrokhzad seamlessly transposed her poetic voice into a cinematic medium with The House is Black (Khaneh siah ast). At twenty-two minutes, the film offers a fleeting yet powerful glimpse of the denizens of the Bababaghi Hospice leper colony, their daily lives obliquely paired with voiceover […]


Banner Image for "Leila" review

At the height of Iranian Cinema’s resurgence in the international festival circuit during the 1990s, Dariush Mehrjui’s Leila is an astonishing entry in a fecund period for modern Iran’s artistic identity. Released in 1997, the same year as Abbas Kiarostami’s Cannes-feted A Taste of Cherry and Majid Majidi’s Oscar-nominated Children of Heaven, the film was […]

Crimson Gold

Crimson Gold screenshot

Returning to virtual cinemas newly remastered, Jafar Panahi’s Crimson Gold (Tala-ye Sorkh) barely seems to have aged since it’s 2003 premiere in Cannes, where it won the jury prize in the Un Certain Regard section. The portrait it paints of urban decay in Tehran could be interchangeable with a number of other films, not least […]