The Black Tulip

The Black Tulip

A scene from THE BLACK TULIP, a film by Sonia Nassery Cole. Picture courtesy Breadwinner Productions. All rights reserved.

The Black Tulip (2010/2012)

Also Known As: Black Tulip

Opened: 10/26/2012 Limited

Cinema Village...10/26/2012 - 11/01/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

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Genre: Family Drama

Rated: Unrated

Selected as Afghanistan's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards®.


After the Taliban is routed from Afghanistan in early 2001, the Mansouri family seizes the new window of freedom by opening a restaurant called "The Poet's Corner," with an open microphone and an inviting platform for all to read poetry and tell their stories. This newfound hope proves to be fleeting as they struggle to maintain their lifestyle when encountering very real threats from lingering factions of the Taliban. "The Black Tulip" is a modern portrait of Afghanistan that captures the current plight and resilience of its people. Cole decided to make the film in hopes of giving voice to the voiceless people of her home country by telling a story through the eyes of an everyday Afghan family who remains hopeful despite constant struggle and tragedy.

Director's Statement

"The Black Tulip" is a journey into the heart and soul of the real Afghanistan.

At its heart, I wanted to explore the contradictions that exist in a world ravaged by decades of war. In this kind of setting, every sense is heightened. The violence is real. The fear is constant. Yet, for the people of Afghanistan, my people... despite the oppression, despite the brutality, despite the constant struggle, there is the constant will to live and to enjoy life. Each day is savoured, each moment is never taken for granted. These people are truly alive.

I wanted to celebrate the colors, the music, the culture, the traditions... I wanted to capture what no else has done, the soul of Afghanistan represented by the families who live there.

Fortunately, we put a great script together, based on a true story. Often true stories are more incredible than anything we imagine. But I didn't want to focus just on the war. I wanted to tell a real story about the people who dream and who hope the way we do.

I was told that "The Black Tulip" would be impossible to make. Despite the war, the bombings, the shootings, the death threats, the kidnappings, we risked our lives and found a way to make this film. I hope that you walk away with something more.

- Sonia Nassery Cole