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10/1/07

Hana's "Buddha Collapsed out of Shame" wins San Sebastian special jury award

 
TEHRAN, Sept. 30 (Mehr News Agency) -- The special jury award of the 55th San Sebastian Film Festival went to "Buddha Collapsed out of Shame" directed by Hana Makhmalbaf.
 
 
It was the film’s superb cinematography and the remarkable performance by the child actress Nikbakht Noruz which impressed the jury. It was awarded in the official selection section of the gala which ran from September 20-29.
 
 
“Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame” features the story of a 6-year-old Afghan girl named Baktay who lives with her mother amidst the wreckage of the two giant statues of Buddha that were destroyed by the Taliban.

Baktay faces many problems on her way to school including confronting boys who want to stone her, or blow her up, just as the Taliban had blown up the Buddha statues.
 
On receiving her prize on Saturday evening, Hana Makhmalbaf said, “If poetry and cinema did not exist, the atrocities of modern day’s wars would have turned us into the wildest beasts in history. The rulers hand arms to 18-year olds to kill each other and make a better world. In such a world, I am thankful that my father only handed me a camera.”
 
Hana was born in 1988, Tehran. She embarked on her cinematic career at a very early age and her first short film, “The Day My Aunt Was Ill”, was presented at the Locarno Festival in 1997, when Hana was only 9. At the age of 14, she made the documentary “Joy of Madness” which focused on her sister’s (Samira) shooting of the film “At Five in the Afternoon”. At the age 15, Hana published her first book of poems entitled “Visa for One Moment”. “Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame” is her first feature film.
 
Another hit at the festival was Wayne Wang’s “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” which won the award for best film.
 
The award for best director went to British filmmaker Nick Broomfield for “The Battle for Haditha”.
 
 
Synopsis
Thousands of families still live beneath the statue of Buddha destroyed by the Taliban. Baktay, a six-year-old Afghan girl, is goaded into going to school by their neighbours' son who reads the alphabets in front of their cave. On her way to school, she is harassed by boys playing games cruelly mimicking their violent society. The boys want to stone Baktay or destroy her like the Buddha or shoot her like the Americans do in the labyrinth of caves. Will Baktay be able to overcome these obstacles in order to learn the alphabets of her mother tongue?
 
See Video here: http://sansebastian.mister-i.com/galerias2007/pelicula_in2.jsp?id=550153

 
Hana Makhmalbaf
Teheran, 1988. Comes from a distinguished family of filmmakers (daughter of Mohsen Makhmalbaf and sister of Samira Makhmalbaf). Her first short film, The Day My Aunt Was Ill, was presented at Locarno Festival in 1997, when Hana was only 9. At the age of 14, she made the documentary Joy of Madness, about the shooting of her sister’s film At Five in the Afternoon, and at the age of 15 published her first book of poems, Visa for One Moment. Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame is her first feature.
Interview: Hana Makhmalbaf on “Buddha Collapsed Out Of Shame”
 

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