Bapjaner Bioscope

Published:  12:53 AM, 31 August 2017

The portrayal of liberation war for the youth

The portrayal of liberation war for the youth

The movie Bapjaner Bioscope is a brave attempt to showcase our liberation war in an epic frame to help the young generation know, realize and understand the sacrifices the people made in the liberation war to earn freedom from Pakistani rule and achieve a homeland for the Bengalis. Shot in the bizarre setting and rural location with some best touches of film making, the movie naturally swayed the hearts and feeling of the new generation who did not see the war but heard of it. Yet they need to know more.

This clearly justifies the name of the movie and turns attentions to all and sundry to the turns and twists of history as depicted in the classic movie. The great value added to the presentation of this movie is that it's different fromthe traditional forms in the narration of the historical facts.

Bapjaner Bioscope is a film, which displayed conflict between a marginal farmer and landlord due to bioscope along with exposition of the Independence war 1971. Bapjaner Bioscope stars Shahiduzjaman Selim, Sanjida Tonmoy, Masud Mohiuddin, Tarek Babu and Satabdi Wadud, among others, in lead roles. In the film, Satabdi played a Bioscope man and brought back a nearly extinct tradition of village.

Farmer Hassan Molla's father used to earn livelihood playing a bioscope in the village. After death of his father, the box of the bioscope is left in the house. Hasen started to show Bioscope with a new storyline and new reel as he wanted to revive the dream of his father. But it suffered a setback as Jeeban Sarkar declared the ban on bioscope showing because it's insulting to the landlord that someone is revealing his uncle's wrongdoings during the country's Independence war in 1971.

But Hasen continued showing bioscope. In retaliation, he stopped supplying salt to the villagers. Still, he could not stop showing bioscope. Finally he discovers his wife is the one who supplied the salt to villagers. A madrasa student, who was very good in drawing and painted the pictures for the bioscope, was killed by his bodyguard. Villagers came out with what they had to battle with the owner. 

The specialty of this film is that it didn't traditionally present the liberation war directly but with the help of a bioscope, the message of the liberation war spread to a new generation. In each scenario, the new generation of freedom fighters and razaakkars has been presented to the people without showing the exact sense of liberation war. In some scenes there was situation of rejoicing and joyful weeping.

Some dialogues refresh our struggle of liberation war in 1971. 
"Did you say that you had flooded the land with blood?
 How many times?
The forty year old streams are not dried yet."
Shahiduzzaman Selim played this negative role very successfully. The director, Reajul Riju, created a story about the bioscope, in which the true history of the war of independence has been reminisced. Cinematography of the movie, consisting of a lot of great shots and sequences, is wonderful. Needless to say, the music of the film is heart-touching and melodic. Cinematography is also awesome. Wide-angle shots in the char area are wonderful.

But repetition of song might be a bit  annoying. And the director could be more careful about costume. Some characters could be shown efficiently. According to Riju, there are lots of obstacles on the way to make the film. But he didn't let it go as he wanted to make the movie because he is a dreamer. Riju left job for his movie and sent her wife and children to the village home. In early 2014, he started making the movie with only 60,000 taka and a team of 120 people in a village of Sirajganj on the bank of the river Jamuna. To complete the film, he had to sell his wife gold. Finally, it was paid off.

The film was released on 18 December 2015. In the 40th National Film Awards, the film received the award in eight categories, including the awards for Best Film and Best Director. Riju is jointly awardedas the best producer. He holds the record of winning the National Film Award as the youngest director in Bangladesh. The story and screenplay of the film is written by Masum Reza and Riazul Riju. We will wait for his next one, because honestly at the moment there aren't too many directors in a position to make films that you can bank your hopes on.


The writer works with The Asian Age


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