From Marber's fiercely polished writing, Nichols wrings every drop of acid, yet it's a show of the director's goodness that a movie fundamentally preoccupied with interpersonal ugliness is allowed to end on a convincing note of beauty.
Heymann's film was originally a six-part series for Israeli TV. The feature he and his crew have made smoothly truncates those three hours into a rich, discretely damning 85-minute portrait of intolerance.
Like so much Iranian cinema, Blackboards is a work of lyrical propaganda. But its metaphors are opaque enough to avoid didacticism, and the film succeeds as an emotionally accessible, almost mystical work.