[Reader-list] Bangladesh Films

Naeem Mohaiemen naeem.mohaiemen at gmail.com
Sat Aug 18 16:03:06 IST 2007

Re: Bangladeshi film thread

Most of the films listed in the original sarai thread suffer from
melodrama and excess.  With many films about 1971, pent-up
fury/frustration about the losing side of 1971 never facing trials
(Jamaat e Islami, Pakistan army, etc) expresses itself in crude
hagiography which ends up doing disservice to the entire topic.  The
films I recommend out of the sarai list are:

>"Song of Freedom" (Mukthir Gaan)

It uses 35mm footage shot by Lear Levin and his team in 1971. Levin
never finished his film, and years later the Masuds tracked him down
and with his permission recreated a docu-drama from his footage. Later
Levin received state honors in Bangladesh after the film came out.

> The Clay Bird - Tareque and Catherine

See website:

>A Certain Liberation- Yasmina Nina Kabir

Yasmine, not Yasmina

An excellent film.  The best of the bunch.  Short (20 mins or less)
but packs a nasty bite.

She also has an excellent doc about a Bangladeshi migrant worker
killed in Malaysia "My Migrant Soul".

> Teardrops of Karnaphuli- Tanvir Mokammel

Doc about CHT crisis.  I don't understand how this is force-fit into
the "address the crisis of communalism" topic.  The crisis in CHT is
about land, ethnicity, displacement, militarization.  It is imaginable
to drop into a religion frame because the Bengali settlers are Muslim,
and the Paharis are Buddhist/Animist, etc, but being Muslim would not
have saved the Paharis.

> 4. Muslims or Heretics? - Naeem Mohammad

I pulled this version of the film from circulation after experiencing
extreme discomfort over how the film was being hijacked by precisely
these kinds of "crisis of communalism" equations (even though there
are bootlegs).  The newer version "Muslims or Heretics: My Camera Can
Lie"-- I have shown excerpts only.

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