Bangladeshi director highlights exploitation of humankind in ‘Ganga Jatra’

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

KOLKATA - Bangladeshi filmmaker Syed Wahiduzzaman Diamond’s “Ganga Jatra”, which was screened at the 16th Kolkata Film Festival, shows that mankind is the ultimate victim when religion is vocal. The director says he has tried to show how clerics and priests exploit innocent people.

“I have tried to convey a message to the viewers that in a society where religion is vocal, evils and social atrocities are rampant, the ultimate victims are mankind and human lives. We see this kind of thing in our society. I have just tried to portray this in my film,” Diamond told IANS in an interview after the screening of his film at the festival.

“The Journey” revolves around a sex-worker Rupa, who was forced into the flesh trade against her wishes. She doesn’t want the same life for her daughter and harbours high dreams for her.

But Rupa’s dreams are shattered when three of her customers from the top levels of society and religion reneged on their promise to find a husband for her daughter.

Realising that the same dark future awaits her girl, Rupa commits suicide along with her daughter. But her problems don’t end with her death.

The film takes a different turn when their bodies are taken to the crematorium. The ‘dom’, who earlier used to frequent brothels, refuses to touch them. Then the bodies are taken to a graveyard, but the cleric also refuse to bury the corpse as it belonged to a sex worker.

The cleric incidentally was one of Rupa’s customers.

When the body is again taken back to the cremation ghat, the priest refuses to allow the bodies to be cremated there. This priest too was a regular visitor at the brothel where Rupa used to work. Later the bodies are thrown into the Ganges.

“The film tells us how men of religion — clerics and priests — along with the top brass of the society, take advantage of the innocence of the common men and women and grind them under the wheels of exploitation. In my film, I have portrayed the journey of a woman from youth to death,” said Diamond.

This is the second time that he is participating in the Kolkata film fest. Last year one of his movies was screened at the festival.

This year, three movies from Bangladesh have been selected for screening — “The Journey”, “Love and Repulsion” made by Morshedul Islam, and director Golam Rabbany Biplob’s “Beyond the Circle”.

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