Matir Projar Deshe (Kingdom of Clay Subjects), directed by award-winning fiction and documentary writer, director and producer, Bijon, and produced by Arifur Rahman, was recently screened at Goethe-Institut, Bangladesh.
Bijon, along with Arifur Rahman, participated in this year's Berlinale Co-Production Market with their feature project Paradise. The 16th Berlinale Co-Production Market took place during the 69th Berlin International Film Festival in Germany. After receiving international recognition, the team is now set to share their experiences and showcase their work in Bangladesh.
Matir Projar Deshe began with a beautiful story of friendship between a ten-year old boy Jamal and his playmate Lokkhi. As the story moved forward, Lokkhi was forcefully married off. On her wedding day, Lokkhi, a child bride, tried to escape on her way to her in-laws. Lokkhi running across the paddy field, wearing a red saree, was one of the most visually striking scenes in the film. The director, during the concluding Q&A session, mentioned that this particular scene was inspired by his grandmother who similarly tried to run away on her wedding day. Instead of displaying the idealised resistant side of society, the film mostly showcased the real rural scenarios in Bangladesh.
In the real world, society consists of all kinds of people. Keeping with that notion, the film featured characters that represented humanity in its truest essence. When Jamal's mother, Fatema's identity of being a former sex-worker was revealed and the entire village wanted to punish her, an Imam, came forward to help her. “Our hearts will be judged in the afterlife, not our bodies,” was the concluding line in the film by the Imam, which was refreshing to see.