National award-winning actor Shahiduzzaman Selim believes that his film "Meghmallar", in which he plays the lead male role, is the story of every family in this country during the 1971 Liberation War.
"This is not the story of one family, but of every family in the then East Pakistan. Every family had a contribution in the Liberation War, the most important event of our history," Shahiduzzaman told the media on the margin of the 51st edition of International Film Festival of India in Panaji, Goa, on Wednesday evening, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The movie's director, Zahidur Rahman Anjan said "In Bangladesh, we call the 1971 Liberation War as the People's War. My film Meghmallar is the story of a small-town family's struggle during the war time."
"Based on a short story by reputed novelist Akhteruzzaman Elias, Meghmallar narrates the tragic tale of a life-altering experience that an ordinary family goes through in a span of just three days. The film also shows the beauty of my country extensively," he said.
"We belong to the post-war generation who did not see the events of 1971. But through this movie (Meghmallar), you will be able to see and experience the real war situations," says Aparna Ghose.
"Mehgmallar" is among the five films from Bangladesh being screened in the IFFI under the "Country in Focus" category on Wednesday.
The movie is the story of Nurul Huda, a chemistry teacher of a government college in a provincial town whose middle class existence revolves around his wife Asma and five-year-old daughter Sudha. They have another person living with them, Mintu, Asma's brother.
One morning, the family finds that Mintu has left, without informing anyone, to join the freedom fighters. On a night of heavy rain, freedom fighters attack the Pakistani army camp located in the college campus and in retaliation, the Pakistani troops take Nurul Huda into their custody. He is killed while in captivity, while his family lives on to suffer with the trauma.
Speaking about the film industry in Bangladesh, Anjan and Shahiduzzaman said the government of Bangladesh provides grants to make good films, but this genre of movies is not commercially successful in the country.
Anjan said it was not just Indian Bengali cinema, films from other regions of India too exert an influence on our films. Works of legendary Indian film-makers like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and Rajen Tarafdar are highly respected and admired in our country."
The director said his future film projects may focus on issues related to environment and women while narrating good stories as these call for more attention.