• Sunday, Jan 29, 2023
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Bangladesh’s Mahbub gains recognition in South Korean film industry

  • Published at 02:02 pm April 7th, 2021
Mahbub Alam and Baek Jin-he in Bandhobi| Cellected

Mahbub Alam migrated to South Korea in his early 20’s to earn money for his mother's treatment. Now two decades later, he is a familiar face in South Korean cinema, having won many awards

Mahbub Alam, also known as Mahbub Lee is a notable actor in the South Korean film industry, having starred in successful films like “My friend and his wife”, “Where is Ronny”, “Bandhobi”, “The City of Crane”, “Pained”, “You are my Vampire”, “Perfect proposal”, “Asura: City of Madness” and “Love in Korea”.

When he migrated to South Korea in search of work in 1999, he had no idea of what lay ahead or any particular interest in acting. A few months later, his mother unfortunately passed away, and Mahbub stayed behind in the foreign country, far away from home, and tried to start afresh.

The garment factory he worked in offered extremely poor work conditions. Alam did not know what to do. The local media paid little heed to what the migrant workers had to say. Mahbub's activism was not working.

A student of the Government Tolaram College in Narayanganj, Mahbub half-heartedly started making short films to expose the hazardous work conditions of his factory, and that is how he grew an interest in films.

Today, Mahbub serves as the CEO of the South Korean production and distribution company, M and M International, and as the director of the Bangladesh cultural association in Korea.

He made his acting debut with short film ‘The Road of Revenge,’ and broke into the South Korean film industry with his first feature film ‘Bandhobi,’ which earned him instant acclaim.

Bandhobi| Collected

He lost 13 kg weight in 1.5 months to play the lead role in ‘Bandhobi,' according to an BBC interview.

To this day, Mahbub has worked in 15 South Korean films, TV dramas and advertisements. The 40-year-old actor is yet to appear in any Bangladeshi films.

Mahbub’s success as a brown actor in South Korean films also made life a little harder as he regularly faced racism and received death threats. Even now, the actor admits that he receives fewer acting opportunities because of his skin colour.


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