Saturday, June 22, 2024

Patriotism personified

To refer to them as patriots would be an oversimplification of their identities. Yet patriots they have been, of the most passionate kind, expressing love for the country through their artistic endeavours.
The partnership of Tareque and Catherine Masud as filmmakers and life partners has always been the subject of admiration and perhaps a little envy too. While Tareque began to realise his dream of depicting the spirit of the Liberation War, a war he was witness to, his wife Catherine joined hands to produce Muktir Gaan, a documentary on the cultural activists who travelled around the country inspiring people with their songs of the motherland. This was just the beginning of the duo’s journey of rediscovering the Muktijuddho through Lear Levin’s rare footage of the war as well as their own extensive research. Perhaps it was during that journey that Catherine, already fluent in Bengali, decided to adopt her husband’s country as her own, becoming effortlessly immersed in trying to tell the untold stories of the liberation movement through the one thing that both she and her husband were obsessed with–making films.
After Muktir Gaan, the duo made two more documentaries–Muktir Katha and Narir Katha. The idea was to bring out the stories of valour, endurance and of course extreme love for one’s motherland from the voices of unrecognised heroes. They included ordinary people with extraordinary courage–Bengalis and other ethnic groups and most importantly, the women who fought, endured and survived the most tragic and painful moments in the country’s history.
What made these films so important was that the couple took the project further by making sure people all over the country got to see them. The response was overwhelming with many in the audience weeping with emotion. The couple, who could barely control their own emotions, realised they had started something that went beyond personal accomplishment.
Tareque and Catherine’s later project Matir Moina was of course a more personal project. Being largely biographical, it revealed Tareque’s unusual childhood, growing up in a madrasa and being exposed to all kinds of dualities–religious superstition along with rational theological debates, intense patriotism and insidious opportunism. Despite the initial ban on the film, the excitement the couple experienced when it started winning prestigious awards internationally including the FIPRESCI International Critic’s Prize in Cannes Film Festival 2002, could not be dampened. The film was also the official Oscar submission from Bangladesh. The couple had helped to get international recognition for their country through their film, no small achievement for any filmmaker.
Other feature films they made together include Ontorjatra, a film about finding one’s roots after leaving one’s homeland for many years and Runway, about the moving tale about Bangladeshi migrant workers.
Their work leaves no doubt of their deep commitment to their work and most importantly, their country and its people.
The duo’s latest project was Kagojer Phool (The Paper Flower). They had been planning to make the film since the release of Matir Moina in 2002. Based on a story on the partition of 1947, Kagojer Phool was to be a prequel to Matir Moina.
It was for choosing location for this film that they went to Saljana village of Shibalaya upazila in Manikganj yesterday. Death parted them when their microbus collided with a bus on Dhaka-Aricha highway.
As we mourn the death of Tareque Masud, a vibrant, eloquent and charismatic personality and talented artiste, we can only pray that his bereft partner Catherine, fighting for her life in a city hospital, will survive to raise their only child.
That rare partnership that bound two lives so intricately is no more. Their endeavours to bring out the complexities and beauty of Bangladesh, however, will remain immortalised in their films.

-With The Daily Star input


Related News

Tareque Masud, Mishuk Munier killed in road crash

Related News

Over 1.04 crore animals sacrificed on Eid-ul-Adha this year

News Desk : A total of 1,04,08,918 animals were sacrificed across the country on the occasion of the holy Eid-ul-Azha this year. As many as 3, 67, 106 more animals were slaughtered this year compared to previous year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock said in a press release on Tuesday. This year the ... Read more

9am-5pm office time to resume from Wednesday

News Desk : The public offices across Bangladesh are set to go back to old office timing from 9:00am to 5:00pm with Fridays and Saturdays being the weekly holidays as usual from Wednesday. The cabinet in its weekly meeting on June 3 decided restoring the old office timing between 9:00am and 5:00pm on weekdays ... Read more

5 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Bangladesh

News Desk : A magnitude 5 earthquake jolted a large part of the country on Sunday (2 June) afternoon., including Dhaka. The quake struck at 2:44pm from a depth of about 110km, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, and was centred in the Mawlaik area of Myanmar, 441 km southeast of Dhaka. The quake ... Read more

Over 2cr to be fed as daylong Vitamin ‘A’ plus campaign begins

News Desk : The National Vitamin A-plus campaign is being conducted with a target to feed the capsules to over 2.22 crore children, aged between six months and 59 months. The campaign started at 8am on Saturday (June 1) and will continue till 4pm. Feeding Vitamin A capsules prevents blindness in children, ensures normal ... Read more

Postponed notice fake, HSC exams on June 30 as per schedule

News Desk : The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams will be held on time as per previous announcement, beginning on 30 June. The routine deferring the exams for a month that is making rounds in social media, is fake, the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Dhaka said on Saturday. A circular ... Read more

3 month-long ban on fishing, tourism in Sundarbans begins

News Desk : The forest department has imposed this three-month ban on fishing and tourism in the Sundarbans. Local communities, including fishermen, wood and honey collectors, who depend on the Sundarbans for their livelihoods, are concerned about a three-month ban on all activities in the forest starting Saturday. The restriction applies to visitors, including ... Read more

Appellate Division upholds HC verdict on DU teacher Samia’s demotion

News Desk : The Appellate Division today (26 May) upheld the judgement of the High Court which declared illegal the demotion order of Dhaka University faculty Samia Rahman on charges of plagiarism. A four-member appellate bench headed by senior judge M Enayetur Rahim of the Appellate Division rejected the appeal of DU as invalid. ... Read more

3.2 million children at risk as Cyclone Remal hits Bangladesh coasts: UNICEF

News Desk : As Cyclone Remal hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh, over 8.4 million people, including 3.2 million children, are at high health, nutrition, sanitation, and safety risks, according to UNICEF. ‘Our thoughts go out to the children and their families at this critical moment as they endure the storm’s impact,’ said UNICEF ... Read more

Classes suspended at coastal area schools due to cyclone

News Desk : No classes will be held at schools in the coastal areas due to Cyclone Remal, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibur Rahman. He said this after a meeting of the inter-ministerial disaster management coordination committee at the Secretariat on Sunday. According to a bulletin of the Met Office, ... Read more

Cyclone Remal forms over Bay, signal 7 at Payra and Mongla

News Desk : The deep depression over the east and west central Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm “Remal” at around 9:00 pm today and is expected to hit the country’s coasts between 6pm and 11:59pm tomorrow, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). The Met Office asked the Payra and Mongla ... Read more

Admissions for Class XI start tomorrow

News Desk : The first phase of applications for Class XI admission for the 2024–2025 academic year will begin tomorrow, May 26, and run through June 11th. According to the XI class admission circular 2024-25, the online application system is divided into three phases with designated application windows, result announcements, and confirmation periods. Students ... Read more

Exam will not be postponed for Cyclone Remal: NU

News Desk : The National University has decided not to postpone the Introduction to Government Policy exam for 4th-year Political Science honours students for the academic year 2022, despite the warning for the approaching Cyclone Remal. The exam is scheduled to be held on Sunday (26 May) at 1:00pm, the same day that the ... Read more

Gold price cut by Tk 1,084 per bhori

News Desk : The prices of gold in the country’s local market witnessed a fall on Thursday as the Bangladesh Jewellers’ Association (Bajus) slashed the price of 22-carat gold by Tk 1,084 per bhori (11.664 grammes). The new rate for the precious metal will come into effect on Friday, BAJUS said in a press ... Read more

Don’t pay anyone for visas, or work permits: Italian envoy

News Desk : Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh, Antonio Alessandro, advised visa-seekers not to pay anyone for visas, emphasising that the embassy only charges small taxes and processing fees. “Our services are free except for these official fees,” he said today (21 May) following a meeting with Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury, the State Minister for Expatriates’ ... Read more

Bangladeshi mountaineer Babar Ali conquers Everest

News Desk : Babar Ali from Chattogram has summited Mount Everest and raised the red and green flag on the world’s highest peak. He reached the summit at 8:30am local time (8:45am Bangladesh time) on Sunday, proudly raising the red and green flag of Bangladesh. He began his journey on 1 April, after necessary ... Read more

Price of gold increases by Tk1,178 per bhori

The new rate will be effective from Sunday (19 May) News Desk : The Bangladesh Jewellers Association (Bajus) today (18 May) increased the price of gold by Tk1,178 per bhori, followed by a price hike in the local bullion market. According to a Bajus statement, 22-carat gold will now cost Tk1,18,460 per bhori (11.664 ... Read more

9 Bangladeshis named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list

News Desk : Nine Bangladeshis have been named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list for their contributions across various industries. Forbes announced its prestigious “30 Under 30 Asia” list for the ninth consecutive year yesterday (15 May), showcasing 300 exceptional young individuals under the age of 30 who are making significant strides across ... Read more

SC Stays HC Verdict On Condemn Cell

News Desk : The Appellate Division on Wednesday stayed a High Court verdict that asked the jail authorities not to put death sentence inmates in the solidarity confinement before the end of all legal processes. The Appellate Division judge in chamber, Justice M Enayetur Rahim, granted the stay after hearing an appeal filed by ... Read more

BRTA to take ‘no helmet, no fuel’ policy for bikers

News Desk : Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has decided to take a “no helmet, no fuel” approach for motorcycle riders across the country. Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka, according to decisions taken at a meeting ... Read more

MV Abdullah finally arrives at Ctg port

News Desk : The 23 crew members of Bangladeshi flag carrier MV Abdullah, which was recently freed from the captivity of Somali pirates, has reached the Chittagong Port today (14 May). The Chittagong Port Authority has a reception at the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) to welcome back the sailors. Their family members are ... Read more