Films of ‘71: Your guide to a movie marathon | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 24, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:09 AM, March 24, 2020

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Films of ‘71: Your guide to a movie marathon

What are your plans for the upcoming Independence Day? Instead of going out to public places, why not enjoy a movie marathon amid the comfort of your home?

Throughout decades, there have been several films made on the War of Liberation. Here's our pick from each, from the 1970s down to the 2010s. 

Stop Genocide

Zahir Raihan remains one of the most notable Bangladeshi filmmakers. And Stop Genocide is one of his most notable works. Do we need to say more?

The short documentary was made during the war. And a much-needed documentation it was for that time — and an important historical record it is today — highlighting gruesome atrocities and glorious resistance by freedom fighters. 

On the other hand, Ora Egaro Jon, directed by Chashi Nazrul Islam, is such an iconic movie of the 1970s that we cannot help but recommend.

Back to Zahir Raihan, another movie that simply cannot be left unmentioned: Jibon Theke Neya. Watch it for entertainment, obviously, but also try to identify the satirical undertones and how the story relates to the oppression and Bengalis' struggle.

Agami

Agami's non-linear narrative looks at Bangladesh not just during the war, but post-war too. Grounded in grim reality, the short film highlights many facets of life, be it war and barbarity, or women and their plights in society.

It is not just a story of war; it is also a story of love, poverty, and society at large.

Through flashbacks and intermittent breaking down of singular flow of narrative, eminent filmmaker Morshedul Islam has been able to tell several stories and bring multiple dimensions — all intertwined into one captivating film.    

Aguner Poroshmoni

Humayun Ahmed wore many hats, from a teacher to a writer and possibly the most-loved writer of Bangladesh. He was a filmmaker too.

Aguner Poroshmoni looks at 1971 from the perspective of a family; a family not quite different from yours. And one fine day in that household enters a freedom fighter, portrayed by none other than Asaduzzaman Noor.

Humayun Ahmed took the misery, dreams, despairs and other realities of war on one hand, and seamlessly blended it with humour, romance, and family dynamics on the other. This brilliant blend is our rationale for picking Aguner Poroshmoni from the decade of 1990s.    

Shyamol Chhaya by the same director is also a must-watch.  

Matir Moina

How can any film other than Matir Moina possibly be the top recommendation among the films made in the 2000s? Directed by Tareque Masud, the highly acclaimed movie even bagged an award at Cannes!

By the way, the movie is not directly about 1971, but the times that preceded or led up to it. Watch Matir Moina to understand the context and the various sentiments and beliefs of Bengalis. Also, watch Matir Moina to explore rural Bengal which has been portrayed so beautifully.  

Tareque Masud was a genius! His cinema's scope and depth will astound you. So, for those interested, read our special tribute to him, published in this very issue of Star Lifestyle. 

Guerrilla

Nasir Uddin Yousuff's Guerrilla brings the Liberation War to the new, modern generation. Simply in that scope, keeping aside everything else for a moment, it has been a success, given the buzz and excitement it created at the time of release.

The movie presents you different aspects of '71 — so, not just the role of guerrillas, but also the barbarity of the Pakistan army, contribution of journalists, and the story of martyred musician Altaf Mahmud, to mention a few.

Quite refreshingly, the film revolves around a strong central female character — something we would like to see more of, the way the sensational Jaya Ahsan did for Guerrilla.

All these movies not only give out a social message and help us better understand our history, but are also thoroughly capturing or entertaining. And the latter is indeed important!

So, this Independence Day, shun away from activities which would put you in social gatherings, given the current situation. Get yourself some munchies, and keep calm and binge-watch!

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