Sweta, a 27-year old movie lover from Kolkata, never misses biopics or autobiographies on the female changemakers.
Watching 'Hasina: A Daughter’s Tale' , she was deeply moved by the journey of Sheikh Hasina from being a survivor of an assassinated family to struggling against a military dictator to become the Prime Minister for three consecutive terms.
“I can’t imagine how a lady informed of the murder of her almost entire family could still gather the courage to move on. If you were denied access to the very country your father had liberated and you had to endure an agonizing wait for six years to get back to your motherland, it would feel like the end of the world. But, she refused to give up and now she has made Bangladesh a developmental role model,” said Sweta, a management professional living in Kolkata.
She was effusive in her appreciation for the docudrama on Sheikh Hasina as a daughter of Bangabandhu after it was screened on a news channel in Kolkata for the first time.
“I have read the life story of Maya Angelou, a black woman in the USA whose lifelong agony is reflected in her autobiographical novel ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’. I also know about Mayawati, a Dalit woman whose endless struggle to become the chief minister of her state inspired a movie."
But, Hasina’s story sends a stronger message to all the women who want to fight against all the odds, she went on saying.
Hasina: A Daughter’s Tale, directed by Piplu Khan, zeroes on the darkest chapter in the history of South Asia – the murder of Bangabandhu’s family by some disgruntled army officers in 1975.
That foreshadowed the challenging years lying before her and the entire journey was neatly depicted in the docudrama that brought forth every relevant detail from Bangabandhu’s Dhanmondi-32 residence where the assassination took place to the house in Belgium where Sheikh Hasina was staying at that time.
The rendition of Bangabandhu’s favorite song ‘Amar Sadh Na Mitilo, Asha Na Purilo’ (My wish unmet, my hope untouched) dominating the background adds to the movie’s appeal.
Shreya, a college student in Kolkata, felt a strong personal connections with the docudrama due to her ancestral roots in Bangladesh.
“My forefather hailed from Bikrampur in Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh resisted a genocide under the leadership of Bangabandhu. Shockingly, he was murdered on the very land he liberated. Watching this movie, I came to know that Hasina had to struggle so long with so much patience to reclaim her space in the country,” she said.
Earlier, the film, produced by Radwan Mujib Siddiq and Nasrul Hamid Bipu of the Centre for Research and Information (CRI), was screened at Dhaka Lit Fest, Bangladesh Film Festival in Kolkata, and International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
The film on Hasina has won international acclaim because it reflected the untold stories of her life as the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, according to CRI.
In an attempt to get a peek into her life, the camera followed her inside her kitchen and library.
It took around five years to make the 70 minute film, which captures through Hasina's eyes the freedom struggle in Bangladesh, the arrest of her father by the Pakistani forces, and finally, the assassination of Bangabandhu and his entire family.
According to CRI, people had earlier thought that it would be a typical narrative on the prime minister. But, it is the less-explored aspects of her life that intrigued them.
The movie, produced by Radwan Mujib Siddiq and Nasrul Hamid of Center for Research and Information (CRI), offered the first-person narrative of Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana on how the world seemed upside down when they heard the news of the assassination of their father and the entire family, how they struggled to get back to the very country liberated by their father, and how Sheikh Hasina reclaimed her space and became the prime minister.