Pune International Centre in association with the Bangladesh High Commission and NFAI has organised the Bangla Liberation War on Celluloid, a festival of films from Bangladesh at the NFAI Auditorium between October 12th and 14th.
Six films on the theme of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War shall be screened at the National Film Archive of India during this three-day film festival, which will be inaugurated by veteran film personality Sai Paranjape. The inauguration session would also be graced by the presence of Mahbub Saleh, Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh.
The films, which have been screened in Delhi, Kolkata and Agartala earlier, give an insight into the large-scale atrocities perpetrated by Pakistan during the nine-month war. While some films recreate the valiant deeds of the freedom fighters, and look at the war and the struggle they had to face, some are emotional journeys bringing to light hard truths and terrible suffering faced by many. Some films have war in the background, and bring out obliquely but intensely the havoc it wrought in the lives of people living in remote areas.
“After our Buddhist film festival was a success we thought of doing the Bangla festival as there are a lot of Bangla residents in the city and the movies are really inspiring. There are a lot of people who are associated with the Bangladesh army as well so we felt that this festival will be a success,” said Prashant Girbane, Director, Pune International Center who are the organisers of the event.
The Clay Bird, by Tareque Masud, winner of the International Critics’ Prize at the Cannes Festival in 2002, takes you into the world of children in a Madrasa and the family life of the young protagonist. For much of the film’s duration, the war is far away. But later, it takes centre-stage insofar as it becomes the force behind the life-changing experiences of the family.
Some films take off from literary works. Tauquir Ahmed’s Joyjatra, based on Amjad Hossain’s novel Obelay Osomoy, begins with the Liberation War. The film shows us with great poignancy the turbulent boat journey of a group of people in a village whose idyllic life is shattered.
Amar Bondhu Rasheed, based on a story by Muhammed Zafar Iqbal and set against the Liberation War, is about a young politically conscious boy Rashed living in a small town, and his extraordinary role in the war. The festival is open to all and is on a first-come-first-serve basis.