Lalsalu (A Tree Without Roots)

Synopsis of the film

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.

length : 110 minutes

format : 35mm.

photography : Anwar Hossain

editing : Mahadeb Shi

art direction: Uttam Guha

music: Syed Shabab Ali Arzoo

cast: Raisul Islam Asad, Munira Yusuf Memi, Chandni, Aly Zaker, Rowshan Jamil, Amirul Haque Chowdhury, Towkier Ahmed, Chitralekha Guha, Tamanna Yasmin Tithi, Saidur Rahman Bayati, Ahsanul Haq Minu, Emdadur Rahman, Masud Ali Khan, Moushumi and others

production year: 2001

script & direction : Tanvir Mokammel