Bangladeshi women's bravery on celluloid | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 30, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, October 30, 2015

UN Peacekeeping

Bangladeshi women's bravery on celluloid

A new documentary on the courage of Bangladeshi women police officers in peacekeeping operations will be screened at the prestigious Mumbai Academy of Movie Image festival today.       

Made by Emmy award-winning Indian director Geeta Gandbhir and Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the film "A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers" follows a unit of 160 women who, between June 2013 and July 2014, travel far from their families in Bangladesh to join the United Nations Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

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They form one of the world's first all-female, predominantly Muslim, peacekeeping units. 

"We wanted to make a film about Muslim women who defy stereotypes. These Bangladeshi women are the breadwinners who go out from their communities to leave the men at home with the children.

"It's a role for women in that region that we haven't heard much about and these women do it effectively. It's important for everyone to see that," the directors said in a statement today.           

It took three years to make the film during which both Geeta and Sharmeen spent time with the Bangladeshi women "at least a week or week and a half every month" in Haiti and Bangladesh.

"Sharmeen, my co-director and co-producer, is based in Pakistan. So, she covered most of what we shot in Bangladesh and I handled the part in Haiti because I'm based in New York," Geeta said.

The film was premiered at this year's Toronto Film Festival in September.

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