Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan

The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan

  • UK
  • 96
  • STC
  • Phil Grabsky

In 2001, the destruction of Afghanistan’s 1600-year-old Buddhas of Bamiyan by the then-ruling Taliban made international headlines. A lesser-known fact is that hundreds of refugees were living in the caves alongside the legendary statues, having fled their war-torn villages. Mir Hussain is one such refugee, a vivacious eight-year-old boy whose spirits will not be dampened by his meagre existence. UK filmmaker Phil Grabsky followed Hussain and his family over the course of a year, recording their daily battles with food and water shortages, extreme temperatures, unsanitary living conditions and ill health. As the family struggles to survive inside the caves, the outside world is changing with the fall of the Taliban and the arrival of American troops. After a quarter century of war and occupation, the cave dwellers dream of an age of peace and security. Exquisitely shot through the shifting seasons, The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan contrasts the stark beauty of the landscape with the harsh reality of refugee life in war-ravaged Afghanistan. Karen Tisch

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