Iranian filmmaker Samira Makhmalbaf, whose father Mohsen Makhmalbaf is one of Iran's leading film directors, was only 19 when she made the film Takhte Siah, a look at teachers laboring under difficult circumstances in poor Kurdish communities in the mountainous regions along the border of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Samira's film was a major award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, and this documentary, shot by her brother Maysam Makhmalbaf, follows the production of Takhte Siah as Samira guides a cast of both professional actors and community residents through their paces on rugged locations along an Iranian mountain range. How Samira Made "The Blackboard" was a last-minute entry at the 2000 Venice Film Festival, where it was warmly received.
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