The House That Mohsen Built: The Films of Samira Makhmalbaf, Marzieh Meshkini and Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI

The House That Mohsen Built: The Films of Samira Makhmalbaf, Marzieh Meshkini and Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Film program


Wed 19 Jun – Wed 3 Jul 2024

See below for additional related events

The Makhmalbaf Film School was established in 1996 by post-revolutionary Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf (b. 1957), a key figure of the 1980s and early 1990s and a central inspiration for Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up (1990). The school was positioned as part of Makhmalbaf Film House, an overarching infrastructure which also included a production arm to help finance and distribute films made under the auspices of the school and beyond. Set up in the Makhmalbafs’ Tehran house – hence the name – the school allowed its family of students to major in particular disciplines. Three students chose direction including Samira Makhmalbaf (Mohsen’s daughter, b. 1980) and Marzieh Meshkini/Makhmalbaf (Mohsen’s second wife and Samira’s stepmother, b. 1969). Each of the films produced during this period – including Mohsen’s The Silence (1998) –involved most of the students in one role or another. For example, Samira’s younger sister, Hana, shot the stills Marzieh’s extraordinary debut feature, The Day I Became a Woman (2000), while her brother, Maysam, made a documentary profiling the making of Samira’s bold second feature, Blackboards (2000).

In the annals of film history there are few equivalents for this combination of artisan-based filmmaking and family cooperative. Though connected in approach, each of these three major filmmakers exhibit distinctive stylistic traits and thematic concerns. This season explores the films made by Samira, Mohsen and Marzieh Makhmalbaf including Mohsen’s playful explorations of the everyday realities of filmmaking in Iran – Salaam Cinema (1995) and A Moment of Innocence (1996) – Samira’s remarkable first feature as a 17-year-old, The Apple (1998), and Marzieh’s ground-breaking The Day I Became a Woman, a potent portrait of three women at various stages of their lives. Poetic, socially and politically engaged, often feminist in orientation, grounded in the everyday, and endlessly playful and self-aware, the films created by this collective constitute one of the great legacies of New Iranian Cinema.


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

Plan your visit

Membership options

Mini membership
(3 consecutive weeks)

Annual memberships


Films in this program (Wed 19 June – Wed 3 July 2024)

There are no upcoming related events at this time.

About Melbourne Cinémathèque

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.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

Learn more | View the 2024 program | See membership options

Melbourne Cinémathèque - Dirk Bogarde in a still from Victim

Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest news, exhibitions, programs, special offers and more.

You might also like