The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

This remarkable 2004 film by English documentarian Phil Grabsky (In Search of Mozart) chronicles a year in the life of an impoverished Afghan family whose home, a cave in the side of a mountain, is surrounded by the ruins of the two giant Buddha sculptures demolished by the Taliban. Without minimizing the harshness of their existence or idealizing their capacity to cope with it, Grabsky challenges us to concentrate on the story's more inspiring aspects, such as the natural beauty of the setting and the cheerful resilience of his eight-year-old protagonist. I suspect James Agee, who celebrated Depression sharecroppers in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, would have loved this film. If I have one complaint it's about the off-putting atmospheric score, by Dimitri Tchamouroff, which manages to sound both indigenous and Hollywoodish at the same time. In Dari with subtitles. 95 min. a Sun 6/17, 3 PM, Tue 6/19, 6 PM, and Thu 6/21, 7:45 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Cabaret Chief O'Neill's
October 06
Performing Arts
Bernhardt/Hamlet Goodman Theatre
September 14

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories