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cal-Q-L8
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Clay Bird, The (2002)
21. Apr 2004 at 01:33
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I saw this movie today on the World Movies channel. In my opinion it is a must see movie for those interested in life beyond the superficial. A film like this is often the only way that we 'westerners' have of gaining some insight into a part of the world whose history, culture, religion and ideals often remain mysterious and misunderstood.

The official website is very comprehensive and contains a lot of reviews of the move and along the trial and tribulations that such a film must often endure to remain intact against would be censors and the like.

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Here's a review from Variety:

VARIETY, May 18th, 2002
The Clay Bird (Matir Moina)
By David Rooney

Documaker Tareque Masud makes a confident transition to narrative drama with "The Clay Bird". The filmmaker returns to his childhood in the politically turbulent period before East Pakistan gained independence and became Bangladesh. This accomplished, emotionally involving film-an intimately observed story of divisions within a family that reflect the wider clash between moderate and extremist views-will have universal resonance as it echoes other secular and political conflicts throughout the world. Its wealth of cultural and folkloric detail also should help secure festival interest as well as modest exposure on the arthouse fringe. Joint opener of the Directors' Fortnight marks the sidebar's first-ever selection from Bangladesh.

Action takes place in the late 1960's as a democratic movement gained force in its bid to overthrow military rule. The attempt succeeded in 1969 but the martial law government that followed disregarded the subsequent democratic election results. This led to a violent civil war that brought an estimated 3 million casualties among Bengali freedom fighters and created almost 10 million refugees before independence was finally achieved in 1971.

Against this backdrop, stern orthodox Muslim Kazi (Jayanto Chattopadhyay) becomes increasingly concerned about the influence of his free-thinking young brother on the former's preteen son Anu (Nurul Islam Bablu). Disturbed by the boy's enthusiasm for the village Hindu festivities, Kazi packs him off to a madrasah, or Islamic school, where he is trained in the rigorous ways of monastic life. Miserable and lonely, Anu befriends underdog Rokon (Russell Farazi), feeling a kinship with his outcast status.

When Anu's younger sister takes ill and dies after homeopathic doctor Kazi refuses to have her properly treated, the children's grieving mother Ayesha (Rokeya Prachy) grows further apart from her stubborn but confused husband, who has forced a life of traditional confinement upon her.

The increasing divide between them parallels the political clash in the country and the emergence of opposing views within the madrasah. Bittersweet final act takes place as the Army descends on the village, with Ayesha's decision for her own and her son's future transmitting a spirit of hope and independence.

Ideas such as the conflict between and Islamic beliefs and armed violence occasionally are addressed in slightly didactic dialogue. But the script-written by the director and his American wife Catherine Masud-deftly uses the family drama to mirror the nationwide political ferment, outlining the historical context clearly and accessibly stating its case for tolerance with subtle eloquence. Music also is used resourcefully for the central themes, via Bengali oratorical duets and other songs performed in village concerts.

The drama builds a gentle, fluid rhythm, shifting between family's home life and Anu's time in the madrasah while keeping the political picture in focus through street protests and radio broadcasts.

Pic is handsomely shot in soft natural light and warm interiors with a leisurely, graceful camera style.

Showing a strong personal connection to the material, director Masud coaxes lovely, natural performances from the inexperienced child cast as well as poignant work from the adult leads.

There are many characters in the film but the two boys below have been given top billing:

Russell Farazi as Rokon (left)
Nurul Islam Bablu as Anu (right)

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« Last Edit: 04. Jul 2008 at 17:41 by Zabladowski »  
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Sir Jacob
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Re: The Clay Bird (2002)
Reply #1 - 21. Apr 2004 at 01:50
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Thanks, Cal.  I've heard of this one, but never knew much about it.  Anu's friendship with Rokon sounds like it would be enough to make this movie worthwhile to watch.  Smiley

Love,
Sir J
  
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Re: The Clay Bird (2002)
Reply #2 - 21. Apr 2004 at 03:44
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Thanks for mentioning this one Cal. Movies sure are a good way to get acquainted with other parts of the world and the way people live, think and try to survive.

The most recent movie of this kind that I saw was Zamani barayé masti asbha (a Time for Drunken Horses) ( (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)) which is about the lifes of young Iranian Kurds.

The Clay Bird looks very interesting and I hope to be able to see it one day. DVD R2 is scheduled to be realesed in France on 16 June but from the look of it only in French language. I am confident though that an English version will be released this year as well.

'soles' :cwm39:
  
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Re: The Clay Bird (2002)
Reply #3 - 21. Apr 2004 at 05:56
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On the official site I remember seeing that it mentions the movie is being released in the US this month.

Re A Time for Drunken Horses....   I've seen this movie on the World Movies channel too. I found it quite depressing though. It's another well made Iranian movie... it's quite amazing how many fine films Iran has produced in the last decade or so.
It certainly deserves a BA profile.

  
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Re: Clay Bird, The (2002)
Reply #4 - 27. Nov 2013 at 16:34
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Smiley I saw this very good and moving movie this afternoon. Nurul Islam BABLU and Russell FARAZI have a very good play in parts of Anou and Rokoun. My movie rating is 8/10 !


  
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