Blackboards (Takhte siah)
Description: In a ravaged, brutally beautiful mountain landscape along the Iran-Iraq border, a group of teachers, with blackboards strapped to their backs, roam the countryside in search of pupils. After an attack by an army helicopter, two of the teachers, Said and Reeboir, separate from the group. Reeboir travels the dirt roads with a gang of illiterate boys who smuggle stolen goods across the border. Meanwhile, Said joins up with a group of old and tired men who, after years of being refugees, struggle to get back across the border to their bombed village of Halabcheh. Virtually none of the Kurds express an interest in learning to read or write, but the teachers' blackboards are pressed into service in a variety of other ways: camouflage, a stretcher, a splint for a broken leg, as well as providing shelter and protection from the frequent bursts of gunfire from the border troops. Still, Said and Reeboir persevere in their effort to educate anyone who is willing to learn. In a world filled with hardship and ignorance, the two teachers offer hope, kindness and the blessing of knowledge.
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