Film Maker & Author


Mar 19th

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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.

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