Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame
1-Bamian, Afghanistan-The grand statue of the Buddha-Years ago
Archive pictures of the Buddha statue. Some old men sitting under the Buddha’s feet, applauding. Camera moves up over the Buddha statue which is carved in the mountain and it is as tall as the mountain and reaches the top. The Buddha explodes and shatters down. Fade out.
2-Outside Baktay’s cave-early morning
The Bamian mountain is full of caves in which people live. Baktay’s mother carrying water sac on her head comes down the slopes towards a cave which is her house. The sound of call for prayer is echoed in the air. Abbas, the 7 year old neighbor’s boy is reading the alphabets.
Baktay’s mother: Hey boy, didn’t I tell you not to come around here?
Abbas: Ma’am our cave is too dark I can’t study there.
Baktay’s mother: You’ll wake up my daughter. Get up and go to your own cave.
Abbas’s mother: (comes out of her cave) What are you fussing about?
Baktay’s mother: Your son wakes my daughter up.
Abbas’s mother: (grabs Abbas’s ear with anger and takes him to the cave.) Tie your daughter’s feet and stop fussing so much.
Baktay’s mother: (Tie your own son’s feet. My daughter is not a chicken to be tied up.
Abbas’s mother: (angrily pushes Abbas towards their cave.) Let’s go. You drive me crazy and make me take that woman’s bragging. I’ll tie you up.
Abbas and his mother arrive in front of their cave. Abbas’s mother takes him home and fastens his book on to the window frame. Then she lifts and puts him in front of the window.
Abbas’s mother: Here’s some light. Study now.
Abbas continues to read the alphabets by the window frame.
Abbas: A, B, C, D…
3-In Baktay’s cave-continued:
Baktay’s mother empties the water sac in a container. Baktay (6 year old girl) calms the crying baby The baby doesn’t quiet down.
Baktay’s mother: (holds the baby in her arms. To Baktay) I’m going to the river to get some water. Don’t go out and play with Abbas. Sit down and comfort the baby. (and she places the baby on the floor next to Baktay.)
The baby gradually calms down. Mother takes the water sac and leaves the cave. The baby starts to cry again. Baktay tries to soothe the baby down but baby keeps crying Baktay makes sugared water for baby and tries to make her fall asleep. Abbas’s voice studying loud is echoed in Baktay’s cave.
4-Outside Baktay’s cave and in front of Abbas’s cave
In the opening of a stone cave behind Baktay’s cave Abbas is lying down on his chest reading the alphabet. His mother has tied his foot with a rope so he doesn’t go near Baktay’s cave. But Abbas has stretched himself as much as the rope permits towards Baktay’s cave.
Baktay: (sticks her head out the cave) Read quietly. The baby is asleep.
Abbas: B, C, D, E…
Baktay: Lower your voice the baby is asleep. Don’t you understand what I am saying? You don’t understand anything.
Abbas: My mother has tied me up and I can’t walk. A, B, C, D…
Baktay: Abbas I told you to read quietly.
Abbas: A, B, C, D…are you jealous that you can’t read books?
Baktay: What should I be jealous for?
Abbas: You are as petty as an ant. You can’t go to school.
Baktay: I know how to read. You can’t read.
Abbas: (holds his book towards Baktay) If so then read some.
Baktay: I can read but I won’t.
Abbas: If you can read here’s a book. Read.
Baktay: If I read the baby will wake up.
Abbas: Well, go ahead read. You can’t read. Read. Can you read?
Baktay: Yes. (walks towards Abbas and grabs the book from him and starts reading it upside down) Tree, bucket, house.
Abbas: You are holding the book upside down. Hold it right.
Baktay: (ignoring Abbas, she still holds the book upside down and turns the pages and reads) Tray, pomegranate, tree, bowl, human, one man, two men.
Abbas: That’s not reading. Read the written words. Don’t read the pictures.
Baktay: Pomegranate, pen.
Abbas: (takes the book from Baktay) Let me read the words. A man was sleeping under a tree. A walnut fell on his head. The man got up and said: ‘Good that it wasn’t a squash otherwise it would have killed me.’
Baktay likes the humor and laughs.
Baktay: Abbas, keep reading.
Abbas: A man was sleeping under a tree. A walnut fell on his head. Frightened, the man got up and said: ‘Good that it wasn’t a squash otherwise it would have killed me.’
Baktay: Abbas, will you take me to school?
Abbas: You have no notebook and pen.
Baktay: I’ll get money from my mom and buy a notebook.
Baby’s cry brings Baktay back to the cave.
5-In Baktay’s cave-continued
The little baby is awake and crying. Baktay takes a rope and ties baby’s feet so she can’t go out of the cave.
Baktay: Don’t cry. I’ll go to school and be back soon.
She ties the other end of the rope to a corner in the cave. The baby keeps crying. Baktay leaves the cave.
6-Rough mountain passages-day
Baktay searches for her mother in the mountains and valleys.
Baktay: Api (mother) Where are you? Api?
7-By the stream-day
Baktay arrives by the stream in search of her mother. Women and girls are washing clothes and dishes in the water running from the stream. Baktay asks a few women about her mother until she sees Abbas’s mother who is washing dishes.
Baktay: Have you seen my mother?
Abbas’s mother: Did you leave your house again? You’ll get lost and your mother will blame my son. Go back home.
8-Towards the stationery store-continued
Baktay runs passed the caves and reaches the stationery store. A bride wearing a white burka riding on a donkey passes by the ruined Buddha’s empty spot.
The shopkeeper is selling notebook and pen to a woman and her school age daughter. Baktay looks in envy at the notebook and pen bought for the girl.
Woman customer: What kinds of notebooks do you have?
Shopkeeper: What kind do you need?
Woman customer: Two lined and two plain.
Shopkeeper: Here’s a plain notebook. What else?
Woman customer: Two black pens, two red ones. One eraser and one sharpener.
Girl: Red? Give me one in red.
Shopkeeper: Here’s a red one.
Shopkeeper gives the girl a red notebook. Woman and her daughter leave. Shopkeeper then notices Baktay.
Shopkeeper: Well girl, what do you want?
Baktay: How much is a notebook?
Shopkeeper: 10 rupees. Do you want to go to school?
Shopkeeper: At school you’ll need a pencil sharpener and an eraser. Do you have money?
Baktay: No I’ll get some from my mother.
Shopkeeper: A notebook costs 10 rupees. Pencil sharpener and eraser are 5 rupees each. 20 rupees in total (half a dollar) Go get money from your mother and come back.
Baktay: Won’t you close your shop until I return?
Shopkeeper: No, I’ll be here.
A lofty mountain with a deep valley. Baktay walks with difficulty and any moment she is about to fall in to the valley. Wind blows.
Baktay: Where are you Api? Give me money so I can buy a notebook. Where are you Api?
11-In front of the cave-continued
Baktay comes back. Abbas is still reading the alphabets his feet still tied up.
Abbas: Baktay, did you get money from your mother?
Baktay: I searched but I couldn’t find her.
Abbas: Take something from your home to sell in the market. Have you got potatoes?
Abbas: How about eggs?
Abbas: Take four eggs and get notebook and pen instead.
Baktay goes and from a cavity in the cave where a chicken and rooster are tied up takes four eggs and leaves.
Abbas reads the alphabets and his voice echoes in the mountain.
Baktay walks into the store with four eggs.
Baktay: Will you buy these eggs?
Shopkeeper is arranging his store goods and doesn’t understand what Baktay means.
Shopkeeper: How many eggs do you need?
Baktay: I have eggs. Will you buy them?
Shopkeeper: No I have too many eggs.
Baktay: Take these eggs and give me notebook and pen. I’ll go to school with Abbas.
Shopkeeper: Did you get money from your mother?
Baktay: I looked for my mom but I couldn’t find her.
Shopkeeper: Take the eggs to the market to sell. Bring the money and I’ll give you notebook and pen.
Baktay: How many rupees for each?
Shopkeeper: Five rupees each. Be ware of swindlers.
Baktay: How many rupees each?
Shopkeeper: Five rupees each. Be ware of swindlers.
Baktay: Don’t close your shop I’ll be right back.
Shopkeeper: I won’t close it. Hurry back.
Baktay is selling the eggs in the busy market. She tries to sell eggs to the passers bye and produce sellers. Some old men wearing turbans are sitting in a corner talking.
Baktay: Will you buy eggs?
Man: No I won’t.
In another place some other men are drinking tea.
Baktay: Will you buy eggs?
Man: No, no.
Butchers are busy working, cutting meat and hanging them on the hooks. Baktay passes the butchers row.
Baktay: Brother, eggs for 5 rupees each.
Butcher are busy selling meat.
A butcher: How much are the eggs?
Baktay: Five rupees each.
Butcher: Give me two for three rupees each.
The butcher takes two eggs and pays six rupees to Baktay. Baktay thinks for a moment but she changes her mind and gives the money back.
Butcher: Won’t you sell?
Baktay: No, they are five rupees each.
Baktay is standing in a corner. A passer bye rushes by and bumps into her. Two of her eggs fall on the ground and break. Baktay sits by her broken eggs. She can’t believe that they broke so easily.
Baktay: You broke my eggs. Pay for them.
Then she follows the man. The man has speeded away.
Baktay: Why did you break my eggs?
15-Bird sellers row-continued
Baktay with two eggs left in her hand is sitting on a platform by a bird’s cage trying to sell eggs to the passers bye.
Baktay: Will you buy eggs? Five rupees each. They are big eggs.
Baktay is holding the eggs with both hands towards a shoemaker.
Baktay: Sir, will you buy eggs?
Shoemaker: I have no money.
Baktay: Look in your box.
Shoemaker: (searches his pockets) I have no money.
Baktay sticks her head into a watchmaker’s shop and holds one of the eggs towards the watchmaker.
Baktay: Buy these eggs. They are very big.
The watchmaker is repairing a watch and does not notice her.
Baktay: What will you eat for lunch? Take these eggs and eat them.
Watchmaker : (just notices her) Do you want me to sell you a watch?
Watchmaker: Then I don’t want eggs either.
18-Foreign exchange broker’s booth-continued
The broker is busy changing dollars for a customer. Baktay tries to sell her eggs to him. The broker is bargaining with the customer and does not hear her. Baktay holds her eggs out towards him.
Baktay: Take these eggs and give me money. Your kids want eggs.
The broker counts bills one by one and hands to the customer. Baktay looks at the batch of bills.
Baktay: What do you do with all that money? Eggs are five rupees each. I want to buy a notebook to go to school.
19-Knife grinding shop-continued
An old man is pounding on a hot glowing sickle. A boy is turning the wheel of a bicycle to keep the fire going in the furnace. Baktay leans on the door frame and watches the red fire.
Baktay: Will you buy eggs?
Old man: No, I won’t. Eggs are unsafe.
Baktay: Five rupees each.
Old man: I won’t buy eggs. Bring bread and I’ll buy it.
Baktay: Will you buy bread if I bring some?
20-Mountains and alleys
Baktay runs towards the caves and sound of barking dogs is heard in the distance. A wild dog tied to a chain barks at Baktay. Baktay stealthily tiptoes passed the wall.
Baktay: (crying) Don’t eat me. I want to buy a notebook to go to school.
Every time Baktay attempts to pass the dog he jumps to attack her and if it weren’t for the chain he would have definitely ripped her. In a moment when the dog raises a leg to piss and calms down, Baktay finds a chance to escape.
Baktay: (from an old man) Where do they bake bread?
Old man: Right here.
Baktay reaches the baker’s cave. A woman is baking bread. Baktay holds out the eggs towards her.
Baktay: Ma’am, take these eggs and give me bread instead.
Baker: Bring me money. I don’t need eggs.
Baktay: My mother hasn’t returned yet.
The baker takes the eggs and puts them by the burning oven.
Baker: When your mother comes, bring the money and take back your eggs.
Baktay gazes at the burning oven and bread dough. Bread hardly gets baked.
Baktay: For God’s sake give me bread. I am late for school.
22-Towards knife grinding shop-continued
Baktay with bread in hand runs through herds of sheep towards the knife grinding shop. She gives the bread to the old man, takes the money and runs.
Baktay passes through sheep herds and arrives at the stationery store. She hands her 10 rupees to the shopkeeper.
Baktay: Give me a notebook.
Shopkeeper: You only got 10 rupees for 4 eggs? Why didn’t you get 20 rupees?
Baktay: Two broke on the way and I sold the other two.
Shopkeeper: 10 rupees only buys a notebook or a pen. Which one do you want?
Baktay gets the notebook from the shopkeeper, turns the pages and runs in delight.
24-Outside and inside Baktay’s cave-continued
Baktay runs towards her cave with notebook in hand. Abbas is waiting with school bag in front of their cave.
Abbas: Where were you?
Baktay: I bought a notebook. I gave the eggs and got a notebook.
Abbas: Where is your pen?
Baktay: I’ll bring my mother’s lipstick.
Abbas’s mother’s voice: Abbas, go you’ll be late for school.
Baktay dashes into the cave, picks a mirror from the shelf and looks at herself in it. She fixes her hair. Then she picks her mother’s lipstick and throws in her bag and leaves.
Baktay: Abbas, wait.
25-Towards Abbas’s school-continued
In the street in front of the Buddha, school boys are passing by on foot or on bicycle. Baktay runs after Abbas.
Baktay: Abbas, wait I am coming to school with you.
Abbas: Hurry up I am late. Hurry that my teacher will make me stand on one foot.
Abbas grabs Baktay’s hand and pulls her with him through the crowds.
The boys’ school is situated in an open space right across from the Buddha statue’s void place. The children are repeating the alphabet along with their teacher. Abbas holding Baktay’s hand enters the classroom and walks towards the teacher.
Abbas: Teacher, may we come in?
Teacher: Why did you come so late?
Abbas: Teacher, I brought this girl with me.
Teacher: Who is she?
Abbas: Our neighbor’s daughter.
Teacher: You are late every day. You make excuses all the time. You bring someone one day and another the next day. Go stand at the end of the class on one foot and hold your hands up too. This is your punishment for being late.
Abbas goes to the end of the class and stands on one foot facing the blackboard and the teacher right in the empty Buddha’s place and holds his hands up. Baktay is standing in front of the class. Teacher turns to Baktay.
Teacher: What do you want?
Baktay: I bought a notebook and came to school with Abbas.
Teacher: Leave dear. Here’s the boys school. It’s not a girls' school. Go.
Baktay: Where is it?
Teacher: Go to the other end. The girls’ school is over there. They will admit you there. Don’t study with the boys here. Go study with the girls.
Teacher guides Baktay out of class. Baktay leaves and returns after a moment.
Baktay: Where is it?
Teacher: There is a river there. Then there is a bridge. Go there and stop disturbing us.
Baktay leaves the class.
Teacher’s voice: Listen and look at the blackboard. When I finish spelling you repeat. A, B, C, D…
Baktay walks a few steps away from class but returns again.
Baktay: (to teacher) For God’s sake let me in class.
Teacher: Go and stop swearing. They will admit you in the girls’ school.
Teacher: (while sending Baktay out of class) E, F, G, H…
Abbas is still standing on one foot with his hands up. He repeats the alphabets. Baktay returns again.
Baktay: (to teacher) A man was sleeping under a tree. Teach me this joke.
Teacher: Go on. What do you need the man under the tree for? So what he was sleep? Go do your study and do not disturb us.
Baktay: A walnut…
Teacher: Go learn the alphabets. What do you need the walnut for?
Teacher sends Baktay out of class again. Baktay walks away from class and hears the students’ voice repeating the alphabets after the teacher.
School bell rings and students pour out of classes.
27-Towards the girls school-continued
A helicopter is flying in the sky. The boys are lying down under the Buddha’s foot shooting it with their make believe guns that they have made of sticks. Baktay is going towards the girls’ school along the river. The boys wait in ambush. One of them runs forward and blocks Baktay’s way.
Talib boy: We won’t let you pass. You are pagan. We won’t let you pass. You are a pagan.
The boy calls other boys. Boys attack the girl with their guns and block her way and point their guns at her.
Talib boy: We are the Taliban. Where are you going to?
Talib boy: What do you do in school? Hands up. Turn towards the Buddha.
Baktay raises her hands up while holding the notebook. The boys put their guns to her head. Baktay turns towards Buddha with her back to the boys.
Talib boy: What’s that in your hand?
Baktay: I bought a notebook to go to school and study satire.
Talib boy: Girls don’t go to school. Give me your notebook.
The boy takes the notebook from Baktay in anger. Baktay keeps standing hands up with her back to the boys. The boy turns the notebook pages and hands it to other boys. The boys make paper missiles. Baktay looks at the torn pages with fear and turns her eyes away from her notebook. The boys attack the Buddha with paper missiles.
28-Buddha’ empty space-continued
Camera moves down from Buddha’s head to bottom. The Talib boy has put his gun to Baktay’s head. Baktay is dreadful.
Talib boy: What do you have in your hand?
Baktay: Lipstick. I had no money to buy a pen so I brought lipstick.
Talib boy: You are a sinner. Lipstick belongs to pagan women. We will stone you.
Then with the stick he has put to Baktay’s head he guides her to Buddha statue’s empty space. The boys have pointed their sticks towards the girl and a boy throws a missile from a higher platform at Baktay. The Talib boy is violently pulling Baktay in every direction.
Talib boy: Look at this. This is the Buddha. We destroyed it with paper bombers. Look here. This is the Buddha’s head. This is the eyes. You are not even as big as the Buddha’s nails.
Then he drags Baktay while holding his stick to her head. Other boys have pointed their guns at Baktay.
Talib boy: Guys, go collect the Buddha’s toe nails.
Boys attack piles of stones that seem to be the remains of the Buddha statute from every direction.
Baktay is frightened. The Talib boy is over her head with his stick. In a corner two boys are digging a hole in the ground. Dust is raised in the air.
Talib boy: Hey girl, look there. A girl had put on lipstick and we stoned her.
Baktay looks at the boys who are arduously digging the ground. She is terrified.
Baktay: I won’t play the stoning game.
Talib boy: This is no game. They are digging your grave over there.
Then he guides the girl towards the grave with his wooden stick and makes her stand near the dirt diggers. The boys have raised a lot of dust. The boy leaves and when he returns he draws a circle around Baktay’s feet with chalks.
Talib boy: This is God’s order. Don’t put your foot out of the circle.
The girl is standing in the middle of the circle. The boy walks towards grave diggers and starts to dig the ground. Dust is raised more and more. Girl steps outside of the circle and the boy sees it and gets up in anger and draws another line around Baktay’s feet.
Talib boy: Didn’t I tell you not to disobey God’s order? Don’t you understand a word?
The boy goes to help the grave diggers. Baktay steps foot outside the circle again. Talib boy draws a third circle around Baktay’s feet with a bunch of chalk.
Talib boy: Repent and obey God.
The boys are digging the ground. Baktay leaps in the drawn circles. The group of boys holding stones in hands attack the girl through a white stone fenced path.
Talib boy: (to the boys) Guys, walk on the sides. There are mines in the middle.
Boys: (holding stones) Stone…
The boys reach the girl with stones in their hands and start turning around her.
Talib boy: (to the grave diggers) Put her in grave.
The boys grab the girl and push her in the grave. The other boys are ready to start stoning.
Baktay: (frightened) For God’s sake let me go to school to learn jokes.
Baktay escapes the grave in fear. The diggers put her back in the grave. Baktay is scared and starts to beg. The boys point their stones at her.
Baktay: (bursts into tears) For God’s sake let me free to go to school and learn jokes. I don’t want to play the stoning game. My stuff will get dirty.
Tears drop on Baktays’s cheeks from her frightened eyes. The Talib boy pulls a paper bag over Baktay’s head. Baktay sees through the holes on the bag that the boys are pointing their guns and stones at her.
Talib boy: Give water to the sinner.
Baktay removes the paper bag from her head but the boy pulls it over again.
Talib boy: Don’t uncover your hair. You have black hair.
From the bucket in the boy’s hands water is poured and Baktay drinks water from the mouth opening on the bag.
Talib boy: Drink water so you won’t die thirsty.
From a distance, Abbas is heard reading the alphabets. Baktay becomes hopeful at once. She listens and searches for the voice and screams.
Baktay: Where are you Abbas?
The Talib boy splashes water on her face and covers her mouth from over the bag.
Talib boy: The American spies are here. Hide.
The boys hold Baktay’s hands and cover her mouth and take her away from the stoning spot and they wait in ambush in a cave which is their hide out. Abbas walks through the white stone fenced path while reading the alphabet.
Abbas: A, B, C, D. E
Baktay: (screams from the boy’s hide out) Abbas I am here.
Abbas: Where are you Baktay?
The boy covers Baktay’s mouth with his hand to cut her from Abbas.
Talib boy: Make another Vietnam for the Americans.
The boys attack the stoning hole. They pour the water from the buckets in the hole to cover it and go back to their hide out. Abbas is still coming forward on the stone fenced path calling for Baktay.
Abbas: Where are you Baktay? The teacher threw me out of class. Let’s go back to our cave.
The Talib boy while lying chest down next to other boys follows Abbas’s moves with his gun and drags himself towards Baktay and whispers something to her ear.
Talib boy: Tell him if he wants to see you to come to the right.
Baktay: (from under the paper bag) Abbas, be careful not to fall into the ditch.
The Talib boy covers the mouth opening on the bag with one hand and places his other hand on his eyes like a binocular and looks on.
Talib boy: If you want to see Baktay come to the right.
Abbas goes to the right with doubt and fear.
Talib boy: Go right. Further right.
Baktay pushes the boy’s hand away and yells.
Baktay: Abbas, I am here.
Talib boy: Go forward and back to see Baktay. Go back. Little more. Little this way. Little that way. Good.
Upon the boy’s voice, Abbas walks to the left and right, back and forth until he falls in the ditch. Baktay covers her eyes from over the bag to avoid seeing Abbas fall. The boys attack Abbas and point their guns at him. Abbas holds his hands up. The Talib boy pushes Abbas into the mud. Abbas becomes completely muddy and scared.
Talib boy: Where were you in America?
Talib boy: If so, ‘A’ as in what?
Abbas: As in ‘Aab’ (water)
Talib boy: Idiot. ‘A’ as in America. ‘B’ as in what?
Abbas: As in Baktay.
Talib boy: Shut up. Don’t say a female stranger’s name.
Abbas: ‘B’ as in Baba (father)
Talib boy: No ‘B’ as in Buddha. ‘N’ as in what?
Abbas: Naan (bread)
Talib boy: ‘N’ as in No. ‘Kh’ as in what?
Abbas: ‘Kh’…’kh’… I don’t know.
Talib boy: As in Khoda (God)
Abbas: ‘Kh’ as in Khoda (God)
Talib boy: That’s what I said idiot. What do you learn in school?
Abbas: (frightened and shaking) ‘Kh’ like Khab (dream)…’Kh’ as in …’kh’…Khoda (God) Then he raises his hands further up.
The boy looks at Abbas with rage and hatred. At this moment a sound is heard from the sky. The boy follows the sound with his eyes. Abbas also looks for the sound. A kite is flying in the air.
Talib boy: (to the sky) American bombers are here. Run. The boys all run and wait in ambush in their hide out. Abbas finds a chance to pull out of mud and run away.
Abbas: (to the Talib boys) When I grow up I will kill you.
Abbas walks away in the white stone fenced path while reading the alphabets. The boys have pointed their guns towards the sky in their hide out. Colorful kites cutting through the wind are flying in the sky. The boys put make believe binoculars on their eyes using their hands and target the kites and shoot them. One of the kites falls down and gets torn. The boys rush towards the kite. The kite burns in fire at once.
30-The labyrinth of caves
In the cave’s opening there is a fire burning. Inside the cave it is dark. The boy has put his wooden stick on Baktay’s head and he brings her into the cave and lights the way with a flashlight. In the intricate path of the cave he stops the girl at one point. Three other girls with paper bags pulled over their heads are standing.
Talib boy: Go there. Hold your hands up.
The boy shouts in anger at one of the girls.
Talib boy: Don’t chew gum. Throw it out.
The boy holds his gun towards the girls. A goat chews the leaves on the boy’s wooden stick. The boy pulls back his stick.
Talib boy: Hands up. Stop talking together. I’ve fought a lot. I am tired and want to sleep now.
The boy turns his back to the girls and snores. The girls whisper to each other. Boy turns his head and secretly watches the girls and throws the flash light on their faces.
Talib boy: Hold your hands up. Don’t talk to each other. I will stone you.
The boy comes out of the cave. Baktay secretly watches his leaving. When she makes sure that he is gone Baktay comes towards the girls and removes her paper bag from her head.
Baktay: (to the girls) Who are you?
Baktay: Uncover your face let me see who you are.
Girl: I am afraid of uncovering my face.
Baktay: Who are you afraid of?
Girl: The boys.
Girl: If I reveal my face the boys will stone me.
Baktay: (walks towards the girl and removes the bag from her head and throws it on the ground) The boys are playing war game. You haven’t done anything. Why did they bust you?
Girl: Because of my eyes.
Baktay: What’s wrong with your eyes?
Girl: The boys say I have wolf’s eyes.
Baktay: What does that mean?
Girl: It means they are very pretty.
The smallest girl who has a goat along looks at her eyes. She removes her bag and throws it on the ground. The goat eats the girl’s bag.
Little girl: Your eyes are not pretty. My eyes are pretty.
Baktay: (to the little girl) You are too little to be busted.
Little girl: Because I am pretty. Because of my lipstick.
Baktay: There is no lipstick on your lips. Who wiped it?
Little girl: The boys wiped it.
Baktay: Do you like lipstick?
Little girl: Yes.
Baktay: I will put lipstick on your lips and cheeks. You will become pretty.
Baktay brings the lipstick out of her bag and puts it on the little girl’s lips and cheeks. Then she looks at her closely.
Baktay: You look pretty.
The other girl is still chewing gum.
Baktay: Why did they catch you?
Girl: (while chewing gum) I was going to school and chewing gum. The boys caught me.
Baktay: But chewing gum is no sin.
Girl: The boys found the picture of a football player from the gum wrap. (shows the football player’s picture)
Baktay: Don’t chew so much gum.
Girl: I was very hungry.
The girl with the paper bag over her head avidly chews the gum.
Baktay: Let’s escape.
Girl: (while chewing gum) I am afraid. You go and bring the police to free us.
Baktay, along with the little girl, the goat and the girl caught for her beautiful eyes run away from the cave.
31-Outside the cave
Baktay comes out of the cave with two girls and the goat. There is quite a war outside the cave.
One of the girls: I am afraid. There is a war here. The boys will stone us. Go bring the police to free us.
Baktay runs away. The boys’ game outside the cave seems like a real war. Two boys, one blond and the other black pretend to be Americans and with their wooden sticks attack the boys who pretend to be Taliban and they kill them with their guns. Baktay’s notebook gets tossed under the warriors’ feet in every direction. The American boys shoot the Taliban and kill them one by one. The bodies of the Taliban are scattered all over the place. Bunches of chalk are thrown in the air like imaginary grenades and some pretend to die. Baktay walks past the imaginary dead bodies and pulls her notebook from under the feet and runs away in the white stone fenced path.
32-Square and the intersection across from the Buddha
Over the heights of an empty square a police officer stands holding a stop sign. Baktay walks towards the police. Police whistles and raises his stop sign. Baktay stops at once.
Baktay: Officer, the boys have captured the girls in the caves and want to stone them. Come free them.
Police: I am a traffic officer dear not a caves police.
Baktay Waits behind the stop sign.
Baktay: Officer I want to go to school to learn satires.
Police: (looks at his watch) Wait five minutes. Wait. If an accident happens here it will be my fault.
Baktay: (impatiently) I am late for school.
After a few moments the police turns around and holds up the stop sign to another direction and Baktay crosses the street.
33-On the way to girls school-continued
Baktay reaches an old man amidst herds of donkeys along the river’s route.
Baktay: Where is the school?
Old man: Follow the sun light and you will find it.
Old man: Can you walk?
Baktay looks at the sky. The sun’s rays bother her eyes. She keeps her eyes open.
Old man: Do you have a notebook?
Old man: Give me your note book.
Baktay gives her notebook to the old man. The old man rips a page from the notebook. Baktay looks at him displeased.
Old man: Do you have a pen so I can write for you?
The old man makes a boat out of the page he ripped off the notebook.
Old man: Follow the river and you will reach the school.
Baktay: I can’t.
Old man throws the paper boat into the water. The boat floats in the blue water.
Baktay: It looks so pretty.
Holding the notebook in her hand Baktay follows the paper boat in the course of the river towards the school. The boat passes in between stone ducks and stops at a point. Here by the river there is a school.
34- School by the river
There are chairs set up in different spots in the riverside and open classes are held everywhere. Baktay goes from one class to another. Teachers are teaching different lessons in every class. Baktay drops by every class and when she doesn’t understand the lessons being taught she moves on to another class. The school bell rings and Baktay quietly opens the door to a classroom and enters. The teacher is teaching and holds a little girl’s hand teaching her how to write the numbers. In this roofed classroom girls are wearing colorful costumes and while swinging their legs they are listening to the teacher. Baktay looks for a place to sit in the classroom. Everywhere she attempts to sit down the girls reject her and do not allow her to sit down.
Baktay: Give me a seat.
A girl: Get up there is no room for you.
Baktay passes in between the desks. At some point the girls smash her between the desks. Baktay starts crying. The girls again refuse to let her sit. Baktay goes up a desk to find a place to sit. The girls throw her down. Teacher is still teaching a little girl how to write the digits. Baktay fails to find a place to sit down.
Teacher: (to one of the girls) Zeynab, go get some chalk.
A girl gets up from her desk and leaves the classroom to get chalk. Baktay immediately occupies her seat and eagerly listens to the teacher.
Teacher: Girls, raise your notebooks. Dari books out, page one.
Girls raise their books and so does Baktay. Holding the book in her hand teacher shows the pictures to the girls and asks questions.
Teacher: What’s this, my good girls?
Teacher: What’s under the tree?
Teacher: There are berries on the plate. Are berries edible or not?
Teacher: What’s this?
Baktay becomes happy upon hearing the word ‘walnut’ and pays close attention. The girl who had gone after chalk returns to class, hands it to the teacher and finds her seat occupied. She grabs Baktay and pushes her out of her desk.
Girl: Get up, get up.
Baktay: Move over let me sit too.
Girl: If you want to sit you have to give me a page of your notebook.
Teacher writes the alphabets on the blackboard.
Teacher: My good girls, I will write on the blackboard first and then you follow. Aa…
The girl takes Baktay’s notebook and rips a page off of it. The other girls are all noticing them. Teacher keeps teaching. The girl lets Baktay sit next to her in exchange for a page of her notebook. Baktay sits down and opens her notebook.
Teacher: Write A..B…
Baktay brings out the lipstick and writes ‘B’ on the notebook. The girl notices the lipstick and takes it from Baktay and puts it on her lips. Baktay also pulls her pen but the girl resists giving it. The girl smears the lipstick on Baktay’s face too. At first Baktay doesn’t let her but then she submits and becomes tired after a while. Moments later, the girl and Baktay smear lipstick on other girls’ faces. Some of the girls resist and some submit. The girl grabs another girl’s hand and asks Baktay to put lipstick on her face by force.
Girl: (to one of the girls) Did you think you could get away? Why do you resist?
Baktay: Look everyone has done it.
Girl: (while forcefully smearing lipstick on a girl’s face) Let me write four on your cheeks with it. You will look pretty.
Teacher is still teaching and Baktay and others are painting each other’s faces.
Baktay: (to a girl who is chewing gum out of hunger) Smile you’ll look pretty.
Teacher turns towards the girls and sees their painted faces and shouts in anger.
Teacher: What have you put on your faces?
Teacher: Who did that? What is this? Who brought this?
Frightened and frozen at her desk with lipstick on her face the girl points to Baktay.
Teacher: Who are you, girl? Where did you come from?
Baktay: (smiling and indifferent to the teacher’s anger, shows the girl who is chewing gum out of hunger) Who? She? What? She? (shows the girl again) Me? I am Baktay.
Teacher: Where did you come from? What grade are you?
Baktay: First grade.
Teacher: Go out, you don’t belong to this class.
Baktay: I won’t leave.
Teacher looks at the girls. Girls wet their scarves with their saliva to wipe their faces.
Teacher: Don’t let anyone smear anything on your face. Don’t let anyone sit with you. Go out, girl. Zeynab, you go out too. Aren’t you ashamed to have put lipstick on your faces? Wipe it.
The girl followed by Baktay leave the classroom.
35-School yard and river-continued
Baktay enters school yard and walks toward the school bell which is a large empty cartridge. Baktay picks up the hammer and rings the bell. Girls pour out of classrooms. School becomes empty moments later. Empty seats are lined up in rows in every spot. Baktay goes to one of the roofless classes and sits on a chair. Clouds are moving over the blackboard. Baktay swings her legs like the school girls and opens her notebook and starts telling a satire.
Baktay: A man was sleeping under a tree. A walnut fell on his head. He said: ‘good that it was a walnut and not a squash otherwise it would have killed me.’
Then she walks towards the river. The paper boat starts floating in the river.
Abbas with muddy clothes and face and holding his book searches for Baktay among the trees and yells her name.
Abbas: Where are you Baktay? Your mother is looking for you. Baktay hears Abbas from among the trees by the river and yells back.
Baktay: Abbas, I am here. Come towards the river. Abbas and Baktay come forward amidst the trees by the river.
Abbas: Where were you Baktay?
Baktay: At school.
Abbas: Did you learn any satires?
Baktay: There was no one to teach me so I learned on my own.
Abbas: My mother said she won’t let me in the cave until I find you.
Suddenly, boys pretending to be Taliban come out from behind the trees and block their way with wooden guns.
Talib boy: We are American. Hands up.
Abbas immediately raises his hands. So does Baktay. American and Taliban boys who are now all pretending to be Americans have pointed their guns at them.
Talib boy: (points his wooden gun at Abbas) Where are you terrorists going?
Abbas: To our cave.
Talib boy: You terrorist liar. Die. (shoots with his wooden gun)
Abbas who is shot falls on the ground. Meanwhile, Baktay runs away. The boys run after her with loud commotion.
Talib boy: She ran away. Kill her.
Boys: Kill her.
Baktay runs through the trees. Boys run after her. Abbas yells and follows the boys.
Abbas: Die so they will free you.
37-The hay and cows atmosphere and the Buddha statue
Baktay runs and reaches men who are working. Men wearing bags over their heads are airing the hay and separating it from wheat. Cows browse over wheat clusters. A man is airing the hay.
Baktay: Sir, the boys want to kill me.
Man: Boys, go play over there.
The group of boys, Americans and pretending-to-be-American Taliban have circled around Baktay. Cows whirl around themselves and men air the hay. Baktay is frightened and has no way to escape.
Baktay: I don’t like war play.
Talib boy pretending to be American: You re a terrorist! We won’t let you go back to your cave unless we kill you. Go ahead, die.
Baktay is helpless and frightened and tired of this endless game.
Baktay: I don’t like war play.
The Talib boy pretending to be American points his wooden stick angrily towards Baktay wanting to kill her.
Talib boy: You are a terrorist. We won’t let you go back to your cave unless we kill you. Go ahead die.
Baktay helpless of this endless game raises her hands in submission.
Abbas’s voice: Baktay, die so they will free you.
Upon the boy’s shooting Baktay tumbles on to the hay and dies and the Buddha statue explodes and shatters down.
Pictures of men sitting at the foot of the Buddha, applauding. Camera moves up on the Buddha from the feet. Sound of explosion is heard over a shot of the sitting Buddha.