Iranian New Wave Cinema: Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (2007)

Buddha_Collapsed_Out_of_ShameSunday April 17th 2016, Iranian New Wave Cinema: Buddha collapsed out of shame (Hana Makhmalbaf, 2007). In Dari with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (Persian:بودا از شرم فرو ریخت : Buda az sharm foru rikht) is a 2007 Iranian film directed by Hana Makhmalbaf. The story takes place in modern Afghanistan following the removal of the Taliban and revolves around a 5-year-old Afghan girl who wants to attend a newly opened school. The girl Bakhtay (Nikbakht Noruz) lives in the caves under the remains of the Buddhas of Bamiyan which were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Bakhtay becomes obsessed with the idea of going to school but must fight against a society influenced by conditions suffered during the strict Taliban rule including male domination, war, poverty and dire children’s games.

Amidst the wreckage beneath the ruined statue of the Buddha, thousands of families struggle to survive. Baktay, a six-year-old Afghan girl is challenged to go to school by her neighbour’s son who reads in front of their cave. Having found the money to buy a precious notebook, and taking her mother’s lipstick for a pencil, Baktay sets out. On her way, she is harassed by boys playing games that mimic the terrible violence they have witnessed, that has always surrounded them. The boys want to stone the little girl, to blow her up as the Taliban blew up the Buddha, to shoot her like Americans. Will Baktay be able to escape these violent war games and reach the school?

Director’s View:
In a period of 25 years Afghanistan has experienced many rulers; the communist Russians, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic extremists Taliban and western or laic Christians. Each of these rulers in order to save Afghanistan from the hegemony of the other have initially attacked and destroyed this country. The present day destructions in Afghanistan are not limited to cities and homes. Now the children of this land in their games fire at each other with wooden arms and play the stoning game with little girls and place mines under each other’s feet in humor. How will these children who mock the game of war in childhood like adults play with each other and the future of humanity?

More about the film:
More about the director:

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