It touched the viewers of Kolkata more since part of Sheikh Hasina’s life was spent in India
As “Hasina, A Daughter's Tale” was rescreened at Nandan-I, during the inauguration of the third Bangladesh film festival in Kolkata on Friday, some viewers could not hold back tears since they could relate to the story of a lady and also the land she belongs to, with which they share cultural and linguistic similarities.
This film festival was a part of an array of programs that the country’s Information Ministry and the Deputy High Commission of Bangladesh in Kolkata are hosting in the city, to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 50th year of the independence of Bangladesh.
Screen personality and West Bengal Minister, Bratya Basu, and Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla were present at the inauguration of the film festival.
Though the docudrama continued to impress the global audience, it touched the viewers of Kolkata more, since part of Sheikh Hasina’s life was spent in India, and that was well portrayed in the film.
Besides, its background score was composed and the theme song was performed by Debojyoti Mishra, an Indian music composer.
The film on Hasina, directed by Piplu Khan and produced by the Centre for Research and Information, and Applebox Films, has won international acclaim as it reflected on the untold stories of her life as the daughter of Bangabandhu, not as her life as the prime minister of the country.
In an attempt to get a peek into her life, the camera has followed her even inside her kitchen and library at her house.
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, who inaugurated the film festival, said: “Sheikh Hasina’s life with all the twists and turns, and her journey as the daughter of Bangabandhu, has come alive on screen and we think all of you will like it.”
Thirty-two Bangladeshi films are scheduled to be screened at the film festival.
On account of popular demand, the film on Hasina will be screened again at Nandan-II on Sunday evening, the organizers said.
Earlier, the film was rescreened at the 51st International Film Festival of India, organized in Goa.
It took around five years to make the one-hour-ten-minute film, which captures through Hasina’s eyes the heyday of freedom struggle in Bangladesh, the capturing of her father by the Pakistani forces, and finally, the assassination of Bangabandhu and his entire family.
Bratya Basu said: “Bangabandhu is an asset of both the Bengals on two sides of the border, as well as of the world. People involved in the world of art and culture, on two sides of the border, should come forward and collaborate in making films on Bangabandhu and the Liberation War, and that would be a befitting tribute to this great man.”
Reaching out for comments about the film’s international tour, its director Piplu Khan said: “People had prior thought that it would be a typical narrative on the prime minister. But, it is less-explored aspects of her life that intrigued them.”
The movie, produced by Radwan Mujib Siddiq and Nasrul Hamid Bipu, offered the first-person narrative of Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana on how the world seemed upside down when they heard the news of the assassination of their father and the entire family, how they struggled to get back to the very country whose liberation owes to their father, and how Sheikh Hasina reclaimed her space and became the prime minister.
As the dawn broke on August 15, 1975, her phone rang ominously when Sheikh Hasina and her sister were at the house of a diplomat in Belgium, oceans away from her homeland.
It foreshadowed the ordeals about to dawn on her life as her father, also the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was killed in a military coup in Bangladesh.
With the fall of the status of a president’s daughter, her host in Belgium took no time to change his mind, refusing even to offer his car to lift her to the airport.
All her life stories, the turns, and twists, from that year onwards, spanning over four decades, came alive through the docu-fiction of 2018– “Hasina: A Daughter’s Tale.”