Friday, September 28, 2007

Bangladesh Independent Cinema 1984-2007

A selection of fiction and documentary films presented by Dr Zakir Hossain Raju, Asian Research Fellow

Dr Raju is in Malaysia on an Asian Research Fellowship to study Malaysian cinema. He lectures on cinema at
the International University of Bangladesh. He obtained his PhD from La Trobe University, Melbourne, where he
studied under Chris Berry.
The Red Flower 
Dir Makbul Chowdhury; 11 min, digital, 2006

A visually arresting film that recalls a young boy’s experience of circumcision in rural
Bangladesh , especially how he wanted
to avoid it. Shot in digital video, the film was shown in the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. Shot by
Chowdhury himself, who also shot Zakir Hossain Raju’s Beyond the Borders.
Mon 1 Oct 8.00pm
Face in the Millions
Dir Zakir Hossain Raju; 24 min, video, 1991

An interactive documentary on the popular upheaval against the military junta in Bangladesh in 1990. It takes a close look at what happens in a family when the son has just been martyred. The film was shown at the Hawaiian International Film Festival 1991, Independent Short Film Festival Augsburg, Germany 1991, International Film Festival Fukuoka 1992, Festival of South Asian Documentaries, Colombo 1992 and Bangladesh Film Festival, London 2004.

Mon 1 Oct 8.15 pm

Beyond the Borders

Dir Zakir Hossain Raju; 58 min, video, 1995

A reflexive documentary on everyday traumas and triumphs of intercultural Bangladeshi-Japanese families in Japan and Bangladesh . The research and production of the film was funded by a Film Production Support Grant awarded by the Japan Foundation. Winner of a Commendation of the Jury Award at International Anthropological Film Festival Romania in 1996. The film was also featured in the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 1995 and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) film festival in Brisbane in 1995.

Mon 1 Oct 8.40 pm
Dir Morshedul Islam; 30 min, 16mm, 1984
A film about the status of freedom fighters in post-independence
Bangladesh . It is the first film that started a new wave in
Bangladesh cinema, termed as ‘the short film movement’. The film won the Silver Peacock at the 1985
Delhi film festival and demonstrated the possibility of creating an independent cinema with 16 mm.
Mon 8 Oct 8.00 pm
The Wheel
Dir. Morshedul Islam; 70 min, 16mm, 1993
The film depicts the journey of two bullock-cart drivers through rural Bangladesh who were assigned to deliver a corpse to his village. Wherever they go, they face hostility from the villagers. They cannot find the village; what should they do with the corpse? A parable that mixes state violence with rural imagery, the film won the Grand Prix at the Dunkerque film festival in 1994 and also bagged three awards at the Mannheim film festival.

Mon 8 Oct 8.30 pm

A Tree without Roots
Dir Tanvir Mokammel; 106 min, 35mm, 2000

The film, based on a renowned novel of the same title, is set in rural East Bengal in the 1940s. It tells the story of a mullah (Muslim priest) who makes his way to fame and fortune by ‘inventing’ a shrine of a holy man in the corner of a village. An interesting look at the play between religion, power and sexuality against the backdrop of Muslim rural culture in South Asia . Winner of the Bangladesh national film award and was shown in the London Film Festival.

Mon 29 Oct 8.00pm


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