Film Maker & Author


Jul 23rd

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Lalon Fakir (? -- 1890), a doyen among the Baul-Fakirs of Bengal, composed few hundred songs of profound depth and an excellent sense of music. Buddhist Tantricism, Hindu Vaisnavism and Islamic Sufism all have their shares of influence on Lalon. Throughout the decades Lalon's songs, depicting asceticism and transience of life, have expressed the pathos and pangs of the caste-ridden subaltern rural populace of Bengal. Lalon's secular ideas and enchanting lyrics left deep influence on the subsequent generations of the different trends of Baul-Fakirs of Bangladesh and India. Though Lalon died only a hundred years ago yet not much details of his life is clearly known and some aspects are still shrouded in mystery. By portraying the milieu of Lalon who was a kind of a Guru during his life-time, the film aims to catch the social ethos of his period. Some historical personalities, who were prominent in the cultural history of Bengal of that time and came in touch with Lalon, like Jyotirindranath Tagore, Kangal Harinath and Mir Mosharraf Hossain, also figure in the film. The film tries to portray Lalon's life, persona and ideas mainly through the lyrics of his songs.

* Shown in the Fukuoka (Japan), London film festivals and in the competitive section of Goa (India) and Dhaka international film festivals.


A Tree Without Roots (Lalsalu )

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Based on the novel "LALSALU" (A TREE WITHOUT ROOTS) written by Syed Waliullah and published in 1948, is perhaps the most significant novel about the rural Muslim community of East Bengal(Bangladesh). The brief storyline is;

In a remote agrarian village, suddenly a haggard-looking Mullah named Majid appears. He cleans up an old dilapidated grave and by declaring it as the shrine of a famous Pir (a holy man) begins to worship it. The villagers, of course, have no clue who the holyman was, and though it is a hoax, gradually give in and begin to believe in the myth.The mystery of the grave, the red fabric spreaded over its oval shape, the glowing candles and the Quranic chants that Majid recites beside the grave, create such an aura in the ambience that the villagers, mostly simple peasants, completely succumb to Majid's spell. They start to bring rice and money as offerings to the "holy shrine". The shrine, over the years, provides Majid not only economic solvency but psychological domination over the community as well. From a vagabond desperado, he becomes a man well rooted in society. He marries Rahima, a not-so-young but hard working peasant woman who though robustly built, remains a docile wife. But as Majid's wealth and power increase he feels the need of a younger wife. He marries Jamila, a teenage girl who has no fear either for the grave or for Majid himself. Majid helplessly remains infatuated to his young sexy wife and gradually loses his composure and the myth about the 'holy' grave becomes threatened. Jamila, inadvertently, becomes the nemesis for Majid. And Mother Nature, in the form of a deluge, finally strikes as Majid oversteps the boundary of humanity.
The film received eight national awards including the best film and the best director of the year 2001. Other awards were best Story, best Script, best Cinematography, best Sound, best Actor and best Side Actress.
Besides, received Jury's special mention in 1st International Film Festival, 2003, Dhaka and has been shown in London, Rotterdam, Montreal, Quebec, Cinenouvo (Belgium), Jeonju (South Korea), Fukuoka and Delhi International Film Festivals.


A Tale of the Jamuna River (Oie Jamuna)

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Descending from Tibet and crossing the whole Asam valley the Brahmaputra river, after entering into Bangladesh, has taken the name— the Jamuna. An off-shoot of the mighty Brahmaputra, the present Jamuna, created by an earthquake in the eighteenth century, now itself is a major river of the world. The Jamuna, a braided river rather than a meandering one, becomes full of shoals during dry season and looks more like a lake than a river. Only in monsoon the whole of the Jamuna becomes one river. The film-maker, along with his crew, followed the course of the Jamuna on a boat towards downstream to reach where the Padma, another major river of the Indian sub-continent, has confluenced with the Jamuna. The film deals with the different aspects of the Jamuna river— its vastness, its erosion, its shoals, its fishes, and the most interesting aspect, the people living on its banks. The film contains a series of interviews with fishermen, farmers, weavers, boat-makers, folk-singers who all tell the impact of the Jamuna on their lives and their feelings about this mighty river. The interviewees include a veteran fisherman, a housewife, a folk-singer, a school-teacher and a small boy who sells egg in the ferries, all different people whose homesteads have been eroded by the Jamuna river.

A journey-film and shot with an open-mind, the film-unit recorded what they experienced on their journey in one of the world's widest and most fascinating river—the Jamuna.


The Promised Land (Swapnabhumi)

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This is a story of six decades, three countries and statelessness.
A story about the Urdu-speaking community of Bangladesh.
The terms "Urdu-speakers," "Non-Bengalees" and "Biharis" are used interchangeably to refer to Muslim people who originally emigrated from India to the newly created East Pakistan in 1947 and afterwards.
Many of them, but by no means all, originated from the state of Bihar and were fleeing large scale communal massacres.
Three decades later, during the struggle for independence in Bangladesh in 1971, this community became embroiled in conflict. Branded as collaborators against Bangladesh independence, this moment was a defining one for the Urdu-speakers and has had a devastating legacy.
This story is about the 160,000 people from this community who live isolated in 116 camps or settlements in Bangladesh.
Received the award of second best documentary film by Film South Asia Film Festival, Nepal, 2009


Tajuddin Ahmad : An Unsung Hero (Nissongo Sarathi)

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A biopic on Tajuddin Ahmad, a close associate of Bangbabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The greatest achievement in Tajuddin Ahmad's life was to lead the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 in absence of the party president Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Although Awami League received absolute majority in the 1970 election, instead of handing over power to the Bengalees, the Pakistan military junta arrested Sheikh Mujib and perpetrated a genocide against the Bengalees. Tajuddin, along with other leaders of Awami League, went to India and met Mrs. Indira Gandhi the then premier of India. On 10th April the government of People's Republic of Bangladesh was formed and on 17th April the government took oath in Mujibnagar with Tajuddin Ahmad as the Prime Minister.

On 16th December, 1971, Bangladesh emerged as an independent state. Tajuddin Ahmad became the Minister for Finance and Planning. Bangabandhu was killed by a wayward section of the Bangladesh army on 15 th August, 1975. Tajuddion Ahmad was arrested on the same day. On 3rd November 1975 Tajuddin Ahmad, alongwith three other national leaders , was brutally murdered inside the Dhaka Central Jail.



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