Archive of films Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame / Buda az sharm foru rikht

Iran / France
2007, 81 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2008

The youngest daughter of the celebrated Makhmalbaf family of Iranian filmmakers shows the journey a little Afghan girl takes to get an education. Evocatively set in the hamlet of Bamyan, above which gapes the hole in the rock face left by the pulverised statue of a gigantic Buddha, the film offers a realistic and metaphorical illustration of the current situation in Afghanistan.


In 2001, reports circled the world that the Taliban leadership had ordered the destruction of the enormous Buddha statues sculpted into the rock face in the Bamyan Valley in Afghanistan. Literally under the shadow of what is now a towering void, the journey begins of a little Afghan girl who wants to learn to read. Her road to an education brings together a documentary and metaphorical image of the realities of Afghanistan’s past and present. The film bears the typical characteristics of Iranian auteur cinematography, particularly the films by director Hana Makhmalbaf’s relatives, wherein the realistic world of children and their games works as an expressive parallel to society as a whole, while at the same time exposing the conflict between the radical ideals of adults, and the naive and unaffected observations of children. The director follows up stylistically on her previous documentary work and subordinates the raw, digital camerawork to the discourse of the child actors.

About the director

Hana Makhmalbaf (b. 1988, Teheran) is the youngest daughter of Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf. At the age of eight she made the short film The Day My Aunt Was Ill (Rouzi keh khaleh mariz bound, 1997) which was screened at festivals in Locarno and Pusan. She left compulsory schooling early to join her older sister Samira studying at a film school established by their father. She has taken part in the production of films by the family company Makhmalbaf Film House as an assistant director and photographer. In Afghanistan in 2002 she documented the making of Samira’s film At Five in the Afternoon (Panj é asr, 2003), which resulted in her own feature film debut Joy of Madness (Lezate divanegi, 2003). The screenplay for Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame was written for her by her mother, Marziyeh Meshkini.


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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Hana Makhmalbaf
Screenplay: Marziyeh Meshkini
Dir. of Photography: Ostad Ali
Music: Tolib Shakhidi
Editor: Mastaneh Mohajer
Producer: Maysam Makhmalbaf
Production: Makhmalbaf Film House
Cast: Nikbakht Noruz, Abdolali Hoseinali, Abbas Alijome
Contact: Wild Bunch

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