The initial idea for Tonight’s Homework (Masgh-e Emshab) was based on Abbas Kiarostami’s film Homework (Mashgh-e Shab). The intention was to find out whether after three decades, students and parents are still faced with the challenge of homework, meaning assignments intended to be done at home.
In their preliminary research the directors came to realise that this was no longer a significant issue for students, parents, and teachers. In other words, the issue of homework as a problem of the educational system has been replaced by greater and more significant challenges, such as the appearance of social class differences and its effect on students’ learning interests, the disregard of parents in relation to their children’s education, a lack of planning by the education and development system to promote enthusiasm in students, and many other issues.
In this film we meet children who due to their living context have life experiences that are significantly different from their peers; children who try to develop their talents and capabilities despite great difficulties. Alongside the film’s main topic, the directors also present a parallel comparison to Abbas Kiarostami’s film, in order to present their research within a deeper context.
Dir. Ashkan Nejati, Mehran Nematollahi - 78min - 2021 - Iran
"Abbas Kiarostami's trailblazing 'Homework' (1989) gets a brilliant update in a documentary that is equal parts hilarious and saddening in its portrayal of Iranian schoolkids." - The Film Verdict
"often heartbreaking, painful...You can spot the poor kids instantly, and not just from their faded, many-times-washed sweaters and DIY haircuts. It’s their clenched body language and lined-before-their-time serious faces – a reminder that for them there’s no time for silliness or play." - Guardian
"Endlessly fascinating...like Kiarostami, they put children in front of a neutral background and ask them similar questions from off-camera, pressing them lightly if they do not immediately answer – Kiarostami was a master of that gentle prod, and Tonight’s Homework manages to come quite close." - Business Doc Europe