The House Is Black (1962) will be screened next month as a part of Golestan Film Studio retrospective at Il Cinema Ritrovato. My good friend Rym Quartsi kindly took the time to translate this piece by Chris Marker from original French (first appeared on Cinéma 67, no. 117, June 1967, on the occasion of the death of Forough). Another friend, Laura Montero Plata, gave me a couple of suggestions after reading it for which I should thank her as well.
Black, abrupt, ardent. These vague words make of her a portrait so precise that you will recognize her amongst thousands. February 13, at 4:30 PM, Forough Farrokhzad died in a car accident in Tehran. She was one of the greatest contemporary Persian poets, and she was also a filmmaker. She had directed The House Is Black, a short feature on the lepers, Grand Prix at Oberhausen, and beyond that practically unknown in Europe, and which is a masterpiece. She was thirty-three years old. She was equally made of magic and energy, she was the Queen of Sheba described by Stendhal. It was particularly the courage. She sought no alibis for herself, no pledges, she knew the horror of the world as well as the despair professionals, she felt the need to fight as well as the justice professionals, but she had not betrayed her deep chant.