English Musing

LIBERATION WAR AND OUR FILMS

Grilled Radicchio Salad

A few days ago, a vibe has been gone viral on social media sites that an Indian movie named Gunday has distorted our liberation war history. Young cohorts literally declared a web war. Situation turns sour in that Yash raj films the producer; formally stated apology in their official page.

This particular incident shows what we could not imagine ever; what a film can do for reviving the spirit of a nation; why these movie matters; how could a film creates such buzz; here may be a possible answer: these digital elements resemble the kind of raw brainy material that real soldiers might record ,and  these movies can be an exhausting trip ,that paints  picture of what our soldiers go through while at war.

War movies provide a lot of perspectives they can run a long range, so you can have war movies that expose the audience the atrocities or trying to give them that experience, and others about pro nationalism kind of supporting war. Movie creates awareness about the importance of education, medicine art, and politics. It also brings us to understand more about the depravity of the homeless, and the plight of countries stigmatized by years of war. These movies awaken our sense of responsibility and empathy towards such situations .it influences our thought process in a positive way and helps us to feel that time inhumanity.

Liberation war- A glorious  memoir for us; A much quoted phrase what inspires us all along our life what has been celluloided  by many of our film makers. What these films prime intention: to display the atrocity of our liberation war, to feel that pain, to grasp that sacrifice. So is it the only stuffs to be showcased about our war or maybe I am short in categorizing; let’s roll the ball;

When I have started to write about liberation war films I love to quote few lines from the most coveted treasure of our liberation war;  from the poem “September on jessore road :” Millions of babies in pain. Millions of mothers in rain. Millions of brothers in woe ..Millions of children nowhere to go stimulatingly this is the theme of all of our war films; at least I believe ;

So now I submit few facts on behalf of my consideration:  The few documentaries made during the war were  zahir raihans ‘stop genocide” , “a state is born” by babul chywodury”and “ innocent millions” by Alam gir kabirs  that were the early documentation of our liberation war based on post war uproar. But most discussed for that time was Tareque masood “ Muktir  gann “ ;the film blends the story of a nation and the  ideals of secularism and  the tolerance  on which  it was founded .

The film maker combined footage of the cultural troupe and their activities shot by American film maker Lear Levin in 1971, with historic footage collected from archives around the world to create this unique film. Now moving into the feature film-The first movie based on the Liberation War was made in India. Umaprasad Moitra wrote the script of the movie in Bangla and IS Johar developed the Hindi script in Bombay (now Mumbai) for the movie “Joy Bangladesh”.

However, the Liberation War was not accurately portrayed in that movie and it was strongly opposed by the Bangladeshi side; as a result, the Indian government banned the film.- “Ora Egaro Jon”, directed by Chashi Nazrul Islam, is the first of its kind when it comes to feature films — on the Liberation War — made in Bangladesh.-Jibon Theke Neya, directed by Zahir Raihan, is considered a timeless classic. Inspired by events surrounding the mass uprising of 1969, the movie was released in 1970, but still falls under the category of movies that represent the true spirit of independence.-Director and actor Subhash Dutta received great accolades for making the film Arunodoyer Agnishakkhi. Khan Ataur Rahman directed Abar Tora Manush Haw, moved the audience with an accurate depiction of the reality in the war-ravaged country.-Chashi Nazrul Islam’s Shongram (1974) is based on the diary of Sector Commander Khaled Mosharraf. The movie was a major commercial success.-Humayun Ahmed made his directorial debut in 1994 with Aguner Poroshmoni, an instant hit. Several actors won national film awards for their performances in the movie. Later in 2004, Humayun Ahmed also made Shyamol Chhayaa, following a group’s journey during the tumultuous period of the war.-Tauquir Ahmed’s war film Joyjatra, also depicting the boat journey of a group, was praised both in the country and in the international arena.

But today I want to put light about two latest movie namly; The Basatard child and Meherjann  .The Bastard child is an Indian movie that portraits the then time atrocity of Pakistani military . The movie begins in March 1971 and covers a period of nine months showcasing the atrocities and the inhumane methods adopted by the military of West Pakistan with the support of the Americans and the Chinese. Pakistani soldiers are shown going on a rampage killing and raping hundreds of thousands of men and women across the region.

This movie is an attempt to bring out the ugly truth about the war. It is an expression of the double standards of bystanders and those who continue to shut their eyes or say nothing today not wanting to shed light or stop to think about gruesome side to the war. This film is a small tribute to all those victims of this unparalleled barbarity.

In Meherjann ;Meherjaan is primarily, and more interestingly, about female romantic searching against the backdrop of brutality of the Pakistani soldier. It’s about women discovering themselves as they are engulfed by a war, reclaiming themselves as men around them are consumed by battle, and consolidating their narrative as they look back at an essentially masculine affair. The movie’s strong central plot — the love affair between a Pakistani soldier and a Bengali girl — is diluted by its peripheral characters. The movie were later banned .

So the  thematic difference is noted here; our previous film makers always stick on the struggle of the freedom  fighters; the way the fought bravely ;the sacrifice they did for our liberation war. It’s the valor and courageous deed that had been shown; but does not our glorious war has been left more to us to show;  is itnot the time to say the unsaid?; Like The misery of refugee or a single event that took place during the war time and completely changes their life or a war left women’s life; what was her rest life counts on, how she answered the society about herself or that parentless child who lost them on war and aftermath of their  life that has never been scripted. It is the very perfect time to say so, to thunder the world by telling the unidentified fact they eager to know.

So ;why we are in delay; why we cannot be able to expand our canvass more? There are so many reasons may be: The differences lie in the scale of support from the government and non-government financial institutions, level of taste among the audience, state of democratization in our present society, availability of technical infrastructure, nature of censorship and so on so forth.  But it is very good news that Awameleague government is very much enthusiastic about funding war movies.

The last very praised war movie Guriella is a Govt. funded movie that earned many accolades in home and abroad; if the process may continue and we hope this will than we don’t have to chatter the song of Hayder hossain   “ki dehkar kotha ki dehkchi.. ki shunar kotha ki shunchi…30 bochor poreo ami shadinota ta ke kujchi…”

Hope continues because “after all, there is a tomorrow ‘’….

Ashfaque Ahmed abir

Writer is a student of English literature

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