“I make my films with honesty” - Rubaiyat Hossain | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 10, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 10, 2020

“I make my films with honesty” - Rubaiyat Hossain

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain captivated the audience with her works, which reflects social realism. Her previous films, Meherjaan and Under Construction, two absolutely different stories, portrayed different times and social states of women. In her forthcoming feature film, Made in Bangladesh, the maker has brought a new chapter that showcases the realities of working-class women in Bangladesh. “Made in Bangladesh is a tribute to the female RMG workers,” said Rubaiyat. “These women are responsible for the rapid growth of the economy of Bangladesh. Interestingly, these young women carry the backbone of our economy. They are remarkably empowered!”

The film has raised many international grants for the script of the film. Along with many acclaimed awards and screenings in renowned festivals, the film was recognised in the list of top ten ‘Hidden gems’ of the last decade in The Current, a film magazine owned by Criterion Collection, one of the world’s most prestigious home video distribution platforms. “It is a film that captures this decade of women empowerment,” mentions American film director, screenwriter and producer Leslie Harris, writing for the magazine.

The Bangladesh-France-Denmark-Portugal joint venture had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 2019. The movie is successfully running in 80 theatres in France for the 6th week. On releasing the film in Bangladesh, Rubaiyat shared, “I plan to release the film around March-April, 2020. I will try to put the movie in every available platform, so that the textile workers can easily watch it.”

The film is inspired from the events of the life of Dalia Akhter -- Leader, Workers’ Union, who, despite facing many struggles, managed to turn her life around. “I make my films with honesty. To me, a film is a tool of feminist politics, more than anything else,” asserted Rubaiyat. “Dalia helped me write the script and train my actors. She was a part of the film crew. She also accompanied me to Europe for the release of the film. We are already working on the sequel of Made in Bangladesh.”

Rubaiyat spent months researching on female factory workers before filming. “We often get to see the portrayal of these women as victims. Interestingly, while researching, I found out that they are empowered, dignified and beautiful!” she expressed. 

Rubaiyat stresses more on showing real stories and women experiences in the films, which is rare in the mainstream movies, according to her. “I don’t think about reactions, and censor myself and my work because if you start caring about what others will say, you can never make your ‘own’ cinema,” she said. “I make a film and I try my best to put it in the theatre, and then I will see the results. Whatever will come, I will deal with that later on.” Made in Bangladesh will be facing the censor board in the coming week.

Rubaiyat and her team have already geared up for the sequel of the film. “This time, we are planning to showcase the stories of the migrant female workers,” she shared. “Dalia shared the stories of her days in Jordan; this is how the idea popped up. She will be working with me in this project as well. For further research, I will visit Jordan, KSA, to find out the real conditions and stories of the female workers living abroad. I am also producing a film called Sand City, featuring debut director Mahde Hasan.”

The cast of Made in Bangladesh includes Rikita Nandini Shimu portraying Dalia, along with Novera Rahman, Mostafa Monwar, Samina Lutfa, Mita Rahman and Shahana Goswami, among others.

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