The House Is Black

Director: Forugh Farrokhzad
Year Released: 1963
Rating: 4.0

Beautifully tragic depiction of a leper colony and the horrifying faces and bodies of its inhabitants - like Alain Resnais' Night and Fog, it uses poetry (here, by Farrokhzad herself) as voice-over to add a sense of spiritual transcendence to the stark realism. At only 22 minutes it's economical in execution and modest in its aim, but the lingering impact is immense - the ravages of leprosy are an extreme parallel to the inevitable physical decay all of us will face in the years to come.