The film is a look at life and suffering in a leper colony and focusses on the human condition and the beauty of creation. It is spliced with Farrokhzad's narration of quotes from the Old Testament, the Koran and her own poetry. It was the only film she directed before her death in 1967. During the shooting she became attached to a child of two lepers, whom she later adopted.
Although the film attracted little attention outside Iran when released, it has since been recognised as a landmark in Iranian film. Reviewer Eric Henderson described the film; "One of the prototypal essay films, The House is Black paved the way for the Iranian New Wave."