×

Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame

Hana Makhmalbaf's first narrative feature, "Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame," is an erratic and obvious fable on how girls and boys contend with hefty matters of war, education and the decent treatment of others.

Gloria Le Roy

The Makhmalbaf family’s fascination with Afghanistan continues, with Hana Makhmalbaf’s first narrative feature, “Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame,” an erratic and obvious fable on how girls and boys contend with hefty matters of war, education and the decent treatment of others. The film is especially disappointing given that Makhmalbaf’s previous work was the explosively funny doc, “Joy of Madness,” about sister Samira’s efforts to lens her feature “Stray Dogs.” Curiosity stemming from the Makhmalbaf brand and the title’s provocative nature will lure some fests, but more discriminating programmers and distribs will keep clear.

Beginning with vid footage of the Taliban’s notorious detonation of giant statues of Buddha near Afghani burg of Bamian, the pic shifts into 35mm to caves where the explosion occurred, home to little Bakhtay (Nikbakht Noruz) and her family. Sweet-natured but protracted early sequences show Bakhtay struggling to buy required school notebooks, but latter sections involving a cadre of bullying boys is dreadfully directed and staged, and laden with crude antiwar messages.

Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame

Iran

  • Production: A Makhmalbaf Film House/Wild Bunch production. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris.) Produced by Maysam Makhmalbaf. Directed by Hana Makhmalbaf. Screenplay, Marziyeh Meshkini.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Ostad Ali; editor, Mastaneh Mohajer; music, Tolibhon Shakhidi; production designer, Akbar Meshkini. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Visions), Sept. 8, 2007. Original title: Buda As Sharm Foru Rikht. Running time: 81 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Nikbakht Noruz, Abdolali Hoseinali, Abbas Alijome.
  • Music By: