×

Buta

A countryside schoolboy tries to stand up against an albino bully in the charming and gorgeously assembled "Buta," this year's foreign-language Oscar submission from Azerbaijan. The titular orphan is named after the paisley shape that finds its way into both the carpet he receives for his birthday and an enormous stone monument he's constructing on a scenic mountaintop. This naturally acted contempo fable has been making the fest rounds, and will also appeal to tube buyers looking for exotic, G-rated fare.

With:
With: Rafig Guliyev, Tofig Aliyev, Elnur Karimov, Laman Naviyeva, Arzu Isayeva, Bahadur Sefiyev.

A countryside schoolboy tries to stand up against an albino bully in the charming and gorgeously assembled “Buta,” this year’s foreign-language Oscar submission from Azerbaijan. The titular orphan is named after the paisley shape that finds its way into both the carpet he receives for his birthday and an enormous stone monument he’s constructing on a scenic mountaintop. This naturally acted contempo fable has been making the fest rounds, and will also appeal to tube buyers looking for exotic, G-rated fare.

Pint-sized Buta (Rafig Guliyev) might be far too small for the hand-me-down shirt he’s wearing, but he’s not afraid to stand up for himself. Scribe-helmer Ilgar Najaf uses the protag’s symbolic name as the binding element of several related stories that elegantly blend light comedy and equally light drama, offering an almost fairy-tale-naive if never quite moralizing look at love, family and village life in rural Azerbaijan. Javnshir Guliyev’s score, alternating between delicate flutes and more melancholy wind instruments, helps underline the emotions, while Giorgi Beridze’s supple camerawork, featuring many helicopter shots, drinks in the scenic landscapes, especially in the pic’s breathtaking finale.

More Reviews

  • Father

    'Father': Film Review

    “Father” begins with a mother. Dragging her two sullen, uncomprehending kids along with her, Biljana (Nada Šargin) strides onto the grounds of the factory from which her husband was let go more than a year before and harangues the foreman about the severance package they still have not received. The children are hungry, she wails, [...]

  • Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm

    'Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street': Film Review

    In 1985, New Line rushed out a sequel to its breakout horror hit of the prior year. But while commercially successful enough, “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” was initially disliked by mainstream horror fans, then later won cult status, for the same reason: It struck many as “the gayest horror film of [...]

  • Lost in America

    'Lost in America': Film Review

    You might feel a sense of shame watching Rotimi Rainwater’s “Lost in America,” an expansive documentary look at the issue of youth homelessness in a country where the problem seems unthinkable, and its victims are so often invisible. You are likely to ask yourself how many times you have passed by a homeless child and [...]

  • Irradiated

    'Irradiated': Film Review

    Early in “Irradiated,” a powerful but troublesome documentary howl of despair from Cambodian director Rithy Panh, the narration describes an act that must be familiar to anyone similarly transfixed by history. Referring to the black and white archival war footage that marches in triplicate across a screen that’s divided into three panels, the narrator speaks [...]

  • There Is No Evil

    'There Is No Evil': Film Review

    In Iran, executions are often carried out by conscripted soldiers, which puts an enormous burden on the shoulders of ordinary citizens. And what are we to make of the condemned, for whom guilt can sometimes be a capricious thing, dictated by a severe and oppressive Islamic regime — the same one that accused Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof [...]

  • Dave Review

    'Dave': TV Review

    FXX’s new comedy “Dave” exists in thrall to the phallus. Its protagonist (played by the rapper Dave “Lil Dicky” Burd in a sort of takeoff on his career and persona) is both obsessed by and ashamed of his anatomy, about whose particularities we come to learn in granular detail as the show’s early going wears [...]

  • BREEDERS "No Sleep" Episode 1 (Airs

    'Breeders' Starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard: TV Review

    Countless TV shows have been driven by the basic (if undeniable) sentiment that raising kids is, in fact, very hard. The latest to embrace it is FX’s “Breeders,” a new comedy from Martin Freeman and “The Thick of It” writers Chris Addison and Simon Blackwell that lets its harried adults admit, over and over again, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content