About 1,500 years ago, Buddha statues, measuring over thirty metres in height were carred into the rock at Bamian. They were the centre of a cave monastery that was once inhabited by as many as 3,000 monks. At the time, Bamian was the spiritual centre of Afghanistan. In 2001, the Taliban blew up the statues in the valley that has since been declared a world heritage site. Bakhtay grows up nearby; she and her family live in one of the old monastery caves. But while boys of her age living in neighbouring caves are struggling to learn the alphabet, Bakhtay has to stay at home. When a girls' school opens up on the other side of the river, Bakhtay has no greater wish than to attend so that she too can learn how to read and write.
Berlin IFF 2008
The beauty and grief of present-day Afghanistan receives epic, poetic treatment from Hana Makhmalbaf, the youngest member of master director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's remarkable family. The film feels extremely authentic, largely due to the stripped-down neo-realist style of the Makhmalbaf family's projects and the fact that they cast local non-professional actors for all the roles. The film's title comes from Hana's father. According to her, Mohsen meant that even a statue can be ashamed of witnessing all this violence and harshness happening to these innocent people and, therefore, collapse.
Toronto IFF 2007
Hana Makhmalbaf was born in Tehran on 3.9.1988. Her father is director Mohsen Makhmalbaf and her sister is director Samira Makhmalbaf. She began helping both her father and sister on their films at an early age. In 1997 her short film, The Day My Aunt Was Ill was screened at the Locarno International Film Festival. In 2003 she published her first anthology of poems.
1997 Rouzi keh khalam mariz bood / The Day My Aunt Was Ill (kr.m. / short)
2003 Lezate divanegi / Joy of Madness (dok. / doc.)
2007 Buda az sharm foru rikht / Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame