Reflective cinema creates political awareness, and for the evolution of such cinemas Bangladesh needs a revolution in films, said Dr Naadir Junaid, professor of Mass Communication and Journalism Department of Dhaka University in a talk on Thursday.
“Along with that, the government's interest is also needed”, he said at a seminar titled,” Thoughtfulness and political awareness in Bangladeshi cinema,” arranged by the Higher Social Science Research Center on the campus.
Prof Junaid said it is necessary to evaluate Bangladesh’s success in making reflective or thoughtful films after the liberation war.
It’s necessary to take up risk for realistic filmmaking, he said. He mentioned how Zahir Raihan had taken risk by making metaphorically political film “Jibon Theke Neya’ in then-East Pakistan and Tareque Masud by making “Matir Moyna” in independent Bangladesh.
“Even Satyajit Ray had to hear many times who would go to watch an 80-year-old woman in a song-less, dance-less film. Many times, the production of his masterpiece ‘Pother Panchali’ got hindered due to financial crisis but he didn’t compromise a bit with his film’s high artistic value.”
He said a film becomes reflective and political when a filmmaker, aesthetically through new and attractive filmmaking or film language, presents a story that reflects the depth of thoughts.
As one can’t make such films following typical formats and methods, reflective cinemas doesn’t prioritize commercial success, said Junaid
He questioned the audience whether any contemporary film in Bangladesh has challenged the ongoing issues of corruption, persecution of minorities, religious bigotry and intolerance, disinterest to learn history in youth, tailgating behind powerful people.
He mentioned films like ‘Dhire Bohe Meghna’ ( 1973), Surjo Konna (1975), ‘Rupali Soikot’ (1979) that have addressed issues of dilemma, depression of society of that time, the weak position of women in a patriarchal society, military regime, and political protests and thus created political awareness in the audience.
The seminar was presided over by Dr Zia Rahman, director of the research center and professor of the Criminology department while Dr AJM Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan, professor of the department of Television, Film and Photography was another key speaker.
Dr Shafiul Alam said film is a powerful mass medium to create political awareness and comedy can be used for that too if done in an unconventional way.
“It has become a challenge for the filmmakers nowadays to come out of the trend of following shallow scripts aiming at only earning money and making political cinema,” he said.