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”.
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
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.
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