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Iran, 1989 (MIFF 2003, Abbas Kiarostami – Iranian Master)

Director: Abbas Kiarostami

Shot in 1987, at the height of the Iran-Iraq war, Homework is an extraordinary snapshot of an Iranian primary school and the children who know the meaning of the word 'punishment' but few have heard of 'encouragement'.

Kiarostami 'plays director', interviewing the children, whose school yard antics and responses to the questions posed to them, highlight, with heartbreaking clarity, the reality of living with the obligation of being active members of families struggling to make ends meet, while just being kids. We laugh at their mischievous responses to questions of schoolwork, as they claim to prefer doing their homework to watching cartoons after school, and have our hearts broken when the harsh reality of an uncertain future looms. An affecting and profound work.

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