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Muktir Gaan (1995, 75 mins)

During the Bangladesh War of Independence from Pakistan in 1971, a group of patriotic cultural activists joined together in a common cause. They came from various backgrounds as writers, painters, singers, and stage actors. Together they traveled through the refugee and battle zones, performing songs and puppet plays that expressed the deep emotions of Bengalis toward their land and culture. For the millions of refugees in India and the freedom fighters on the warfront, these popular songs and plays were and endless source of inspiration. The daily encounters and experiences of the cultural troupe, known as the 'Bangladesh Freedom Struggle Cultural Squad', were captured on celluloid by an American documentary filmmaker and his crew. The traveling troupe became the vehicle through which the wartime struggle could be seen. The film, mainly for funding reasons, was never completed. For twenty years, this invaluable footage lay in storage in the basement of filmmaker Lear Levin's house in New York. In 1990, filmmakers Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud tracked down Levin and, using his 20-hours of historic material as a base, collected and purchased additional footage of '71 from various international archives to craft the documentary film 'Muktir Gaan' (Song of Freedom).

  • Cultural Squad Members
    Mahmudur Rahman Babu | Shaheen Samad | Tariq Ali | Naila Khan | Lubna Marium | Sharmin Murshid | Swapan Chawdhury | Bipul Bhattacharya | Dulal Chanda Shil | Debabrata Chowdhury & Others
  • Also featured
    Brigadier (ret'd) Gyashuddin Chowdhury Bir Bikram | Aminul Haque Badsha and many nameless Freedom Fighters

Muktir Kotha (1999, 70 mins)

'Muktir Kotha' (Words of Freedom) follows a group of projectionists who traveled throughout Bangladesh from 1996-1999, showing 'Muktir Gaan', a documentary on the '71 Bangladesh Liberation War. The film screenings prompted ordinary villagers to share their own stories of wartime suffering and resistance. Often the projection space would be spontaneously transformed into a folk concert. Through these interactions with village audiences, the young projectionist came to 'relearn' the wider history of the Liberation War, and the continuing struggle of ordinary people for a more just and democratic society.

Narir Kotha (2000, 25 mins)

'Narir Kotha' (Women and War) is a tribute to the sacrifice and contribution of women during the Bangladesh Liberation War. The film explores issues of rape, genocide and resistance through several stories of women from different backgrounds. Their wartime stories, whether as victims of rape and violence, as fighters, as refugees, or as religious and ethnic minorities, are a testament to dignity and courage and a call for justice.