Two young boys featured in First Graders (1985)
Two young boys featured in First Graders (1985)
First Graders (1985)

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

First Graders


Abbas Kiarostami | Iran | 1985 | Unclassified (15+)

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Wed 22 Jun 2022

Kiarostami’s first feature-length documentary presents a devilishly amusing series of candid interviews with hot-headed, rebellious and tardy first graders who have been sent to the principal’s office for bad behaviour.

The film balances the interrogation of the students with an empathetic insight into the role of the headmaster and the fundamental problem of discipline. Prefiguring future directions in Kiarostami’s cinema, the film evolves into a narrative of one student’s anxiety about their first day of school.

Format: Colour, DCP
Language: Persian with English subtitles
Source: MK2
Courtesy: MK2
Runtime: 82 mins

Event duration

82 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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About the program

When essayist and critic Phillip Lopate claimed that “we are living in the Age of Kiarostami, as once we did in the Age of Godard”, he highlighted both the crucial emergence onto the world stage of Iranian cinema and the specific qualities of Kiarostami’s contemplative, gently questioning, porously self-reflexive and overwhelmingly poetic work.

Read the full program notes
Abbas Kiarostami - black and white - inside a picture frame

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Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

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