Homework

    Mashq-e shab

    • Abbas Kiarostami
    • Iran
    • 1989
    • 74 min
    • Focus: The Future Tense

    Iran has a long cinematic tradition of feature films with children in the main roles. This has made it possible to tackle adult themes that would otherwise have been blocked by the censor. In his documentary Homework (1989), Abbas Kiarostami trains his camera on children who are just being children. The six-year-old schoolkids he interviews on subjects such as homework, punishment, and reward have been drilled to provide socially appropriate responses, but with gentle persistence the director elicits more honest answers, painting a more realistic picture. Corporal punishment is commonplace, parents are unable to help with homework because they are illiterate or have no time, and schools focus on mindless repetition and unquestioning loyalty and discipline.

    Kiarostami’s visual investigation paints a disturbing picture of the Iranian school system, and thereby also of a society that both produces these educational methods and is shaped by them. The conversations also form a portrait of the generation that grew up during the Iran-Iraq War, a generation who lived in a permanent state of uncertainty, were force-fed propaganda on a daily basis, and were allowed few opportunities to enjoy the playfulness of childhood.

    Credits

    • 74 min
    • color
    • DCP
    • Spoken languages: Farsi
    • Subtitles in: English
    Director
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Production
    Ali Reza Zarrin / Kanoon Film
    Cinematography
    Iraj Safavi, Ali Asghar Mirzai
    Editing
    Abbas Kiarostami
    Music
    Mohammad Reza Aligholi

    IDFA history

    2021
    Screened
    Focus: The Future Tense

    Share this film

    Print this page

    IDFA history

    This website uses cookies.

    By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

    Read
     here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies