Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nadir Naam Madhumati (1994) - A River Named Madhumati

Bangladesh war of independence is one of the bloodiest in the history of the world.In the genocide that happened before the independence, bengalis where systematically identified and murdered. The genocide resulted in the murder of more than three million people and rape of 200,000 women. This movie is set in the backdrop of that time period and gives a good view of the various social and political changes that took place then.

The movie tells the story of a remote village situated on the banks of river madhumathi. Bacchu is the son of the local mullah, Motaleb. His teacher Amulya Chakrabarty is a hindu ,who has stayed in bangladesh even after the partition in 1947 and the riots in 1964.The political environment changes and the movement for independent bangladesh begins.Bacchu decides to fight for free bangla while the fundamentalist elements in the village use the political environment to destroy his teachers family. Bacchu joins the rebels while his father become the chairman of the village and supports pakistan. He tries to contact bacchu and asks him to come back and join him. What happens between bacchu and his father is the climax.

The movie has poor production value and it is very amateurish. The movie is nothing but the story. But it successfully portraits the situation that prevailed during the war. How the people of that small village changed from friendly neighbors to killers and rapists.

The movie inter cuts with real clips of mujebhur rehman speech, genocide and indian army's move into bangladesh.It also tells about india's involvement in the bangladesh freedom struggle. I was surprised to see how Indian army provided training camps and ammunition to the rebels. They did pretty much what pakistan is doing in kashmir today.

Director: Tanvir Mokammel

The film supposedly ran into trouble with the censors in Bangladesh but won a slew of national awards.

Chitra Nadir Pare - 1999 (Quiet Flows the River Chitra)

Chitra Nadir pare is a repeat of madhumathi in many areas.This movie is again about the political/social changes of bangladesh on a village.It talks about how that small village changes and makes life for the minority community unbearable.

This movie tells the story of a Hindu lawyer Shashikanta Sengupta living in the remote village of narail situated on the banks of river Chitra.Shashikanta unlike other hindus who are fleeing the country believes that bangladesh belongs to him as much as to the muslims and stays in the village. He stands his ground even after lot of pressure. The political changes of the country reflect in the village too, things in the village get worse for hindu's. What happens to the family is the climax.

This one also has poor production values and is little amateur. But this movie shows the maturity of the director tanvir mokammel. Compared to madhumathi, this is a better one. After seeing so many indian movies which show the majority hindu's in bad light.It was interesting to see a stories where hindu's are minorities.

Tanvir mokhmmel does a Ghatak style movie which talks about the longing for home and the pain of partition. This one is a slow moving type movie which test your patience at times.

The movie again faced trouble at the bangladesh censor board and later went on to win many awards including the best picture/direction,story in 1999.

Tanvir mokhmmel

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