Matir Moina

I was chuffed to find a reference to a Bangladeshi movie, Matir Moina (The Clay Bird), at cinema minema, (a great weblog especially if you’re at all interested in digital film making).

It’s getting a UK cinema release … the first Bangladeshi movie ever to do that! (I’m that excited and proud – I can hardly blog … but I’ll soldier on somehow).

There’s a Matir Moina website where you can read more about Director Tareque Masud’s film. Frustratingly, the film is only on release in London at the moment but I think it’s going to be on general release soon.

The BBC article linked to by cinema minema describes it thus,

The story evolves round Anu, whose religious and conservative father sends him from a free village life to study in an Islamic school that usually provides education and a good square meal for poor boys.

and goes on to say,

As tension mounts between the Bengali-speaking people of East Pakistan and their rulers from West Pakistan, the estrangement is also reflected in the relations between Anu’s father and his mother.

concluding the article with,

Beautifully shot in the villages of Bangladesh, with sensitive performances by the two young boys, director Tareque Masud recreates his own childhood in the film.

At a time when there is a lot of misconception about the role of Islam and fundamentalism, Masud gently mocks the rigidity of the Islamic schools – where he had been sent to study as a young boy – and tries to show that the more rational and liberal spirit of Muslims in his country cannot be crushed.

Sadly but predictibly, the film was banned by the Bangladesh Censor Board and even while it was receiving international prizes at Cannes and foreign film nominations at the Oscars, a massive anti-censorship campaign was waged in the Bangladeshi press. The result – happily – the ban has now been lifted.

I shall be very very cross if it doesn’t come to Brum!

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