Visual shorts on 1971
Films are known as a very powerful medium that possess the power to revive any kind of feeling and emotion that the cast and crew intend to do, even the patriotic spirit of a nation, if executed well. As they create social awareness, portraying society, nation, politics or any orthodox issue, it is very important to not disregard the film industry in terms of creating a movement or revolution.
Moreover, if the plots are based on highly important and sensitive factors like Liberation War of a country, then it is a must for people to watch them, especially for the youth.
There are several incredible productions made in Bangladesh by talented filmmakers, focusing on the sacrifice, pain, torture and patriotic spirit of our Liberation War. These are perfectly executed for us to understand what our ancestors went through and the true meaning of patriotism and sacrifice. So, it is very essential for us to watch and connect with these films as there is much to learn.
Edmund Burke, Irish statesman and philosopher, said, "People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors."
Now, we are going to focus on only the short films and documentaries based on our Liberation War.
Visual shorts on 1971
Nonetheless, there are a number of short films made based on our Liberation War which perfectly narrate whatever aspect of the Liberation War the makers intended to portray.
Director Morshedul Islam made his directorial debut with this beautiful short film in 1984. Agami is the first independent short film of our country. It performed a leading role to establish an alternative film movement in Bangladesh.
Agami focuses on the anti-liberation groups that opposed and fully disregarded the freedom movement in our country during the early 1970s. It also portrays how these subversive forces which tried to sabotage and jeopardize the base of the Liberation War ideology came up in the society in due course of time.
The short film won the Silver Peacock Award in 10th International Film Festival of India, New Delhi in 1985. It also won the National Award for Best Short Film and was shown in many international film festivals. Brilliant actors such as Pijush Bandyopadhyay, Fahmida Parvin Mithu and Aly Zaker graced the screen with their incredible performances in this short film.
Touching 71 (2015)
Touching 71 is comparatively one of the latest entries in the short film list that are based on our glorious Liberation War. It is directed by Iftekhar Ahmed Fagun.
The plot revolves around 1971, when the Pakistani Armed Forces attacks a village. They create rampage and at one point, they take the protagonist's, Shobuj and Amol, sisters. After that, Shobuj and his four friends goes to the next village for help but they failed to get any. Then, they decide to attack the camp of Pakistani Armed Forces themselves. Eventually, they successfully rescue their elder sisters. However, Shobuj has to sacrifice his life on the process.
The touching production has Iqbal Hossain Galib, Saifuddin Jabed, Shadman Islam Nabil and many other talented actors who successfully portrayed the scenario and narration of the short film along with the incredible input made by the director Iftekhar Ahmed Fagun. Saifuddin Jabed is also the writer of this beautiful short film that touches our heart.
There are numerous brilliant documentaries made by influential directors based on our Liberation War. These documentaries portray the scenario and all of its aspects to the point. Most of them should be on everybody's watch list, especially the youth.
Stop Genocide (1971)
Stop Genocide is a famous documentary directed by even more famous filmmaker Zahir Raihan. It documents the killings and atrocities carried out by the Pakistan Army on the people of the then East Pakistan. It also portrays the plight of the refugees and the activities of the Government in exile.
Raihan adopted a new technique of film making of using found video clips and photographs. The film was created using whatever was found in the newsreel clips and footage.
The acclaimed director made this documentary intending to create world opinion against the brutal acts committed by Pakistan Army. Moreover, the documentary starts with showing a peaceful country life. However, the tranquility was disrupted and replaced by terror soon. Then, comes all the immoral and hideous acts committed in the name of war by the Pakistan Army, showing references of other wars conducted around the globe. The documentary ends with the word STOP occupying full frame.
It is a 20 minute long short film that won an award in Tashkent Film Festival in 1972. It also won the SIDLOC award at the Delhi Film Festival in 1975. The documentary is narrated by another great filmmaker Alamgir Kabir.
Muktir Gaan (1995)
Muktir Gaan is a documentary film directed by two brilliant filmmakers Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud. This one explores a different aspect of the Liberation War. In this beautiful and uplifting documentary, we see the impact of cultural identity on the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, where music and performances provided a source of inspiration to the freedom fighters and a spiritual bond for the whole emerging nation.
During the Liberation War, a cultural troupe named Bangladeshi Mukti Shangrami Shilpi Shangstha used to travel to refugee camps and different areas in Mukti Anchal. There they used to perform patriotic songs, arrange puppet shows and stage dramas to inspire the freedom fighters and people with the spirit of war.
Renowned directors Tarque and Catherine Masud used original footage taken by American filmmaker Lear Levin as well as other archival footage collected from the UK and India.
The documentary follows the group not only during their performances but also during their travels, which have produced many pictures filled with melancholia. The directors' wanted to remind the people of the initial motives of the war - freedom and democracy.
Muktir Kotha (1999)
Another brilliant documentary by the famous duo Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud--- Muktir Kotha
The plot follows a group of young men and women who travel through some of the liberation war devastated villages, projecting Muktir Gaan, another documentary on the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War by Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud. The projections made the ordinary villagers share their own stories of wartime suffering, loss and resistance.
The projection space often turns into a folk concert spontaneously. Nonetheless, through such interactions the young projectionists relearn the broader picture of the war as well as the struggle of ordinary people, gaining a new perspective.
This one is very significant for youngsters to watch just like the other names in the list. As they could be able to relate more as the protagonists are young too.
Narir Kotha (2000)
The 3rd entry in this list by the renowned filmmaking duo Tareque and Catherine Masud is Narir kotha.
Narir Kotha is a documentary that pays tribute to the sacrifice and contribution of women during our Liberation War. The documentary explores issues such as rape, genocide and resistance through several stories of women from different backgrounds based on their individual experiences. The film portrays their wartime experience as a testament to dignity and courage, be that experience as victims or fighters. Their struggle is reflected as a call for justice.
Shei Rater Kotha Bolte Eshechi (2001)
This gripping documentary is directed by Kawsar Chowdhury. It portrays the brutality of killings by the Pakistani army in Dhaka University.
We see survivors and witnesses of the tragic incident speak and draw us the horrifying havoc of that night. The touching documentary also shows something interesting. While trying to tune into the BBC for news of the crackdown, a Bengali engineer accidentally stumbles upon the wireless messages the Pakistani army exchanged that night and records them.
These are some of the short films and documentaries made by amazing directors that surely take us to that time and moment when our ancestors were fighting for our country. There are countless more of these kinds of productions. For the youth, it is necessary to understand and know these matters as they provide a clear sense of our true identity, root, patriotism, sacrifice and honor and where all these came from.
"From the perspective of Bangladesh--- liberation war and war related free thinking
and projection is worthy enough for the people of the country. On the other hand, cinema, documentation or visual fiction catches eyes along with hearts very rapidly with an intense effect. In this regards, to build the positive energy about our Liberation war in new generation, any kind of visual productions: short films, documentary or cinema is significant to play the role of educator."
� Shamol Shishir, Independent
film maker, Script writer
"Documenting and fictionalizing the time of 1971 is very important to let new generation know about the intensity of horror reality that the people of our country experienced while war. Thus, reality of that time would encourage today's youth to do for the country."
� Hafiz Shishir, Independent