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The Clay Bird
The Clay Bird
Actors: Nurul Islam Bablu, Russell Farazi, Jayanto Chattopadhyay, Rokeya Prachy, Soaeb Islam
Director: Tareque Masud
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2006     1hr 34min

A visually stunning, culturally fascinating, politically timely film based on the director?s own childhood, THE CLAY BIRD has been called one of the most important works to come out of the Muslim world. Set against the bac...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Nurul Islam Bablu, Russell Farazi, Jayanto Chattopadhyay, Rokeya Prachy, Soaeb Islam
Director: Tareque Masud
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories/Milestone Films
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/26/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Bengali
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

The story of a beautiful place, the story of struggle
Seth Oldmixon | USA | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bangladesh is a country of idyllic beauty, sublime culture, and unceasing, often violent struggle. Matir Moyna is a beautiful ode to director Tareque Masud's home and the the identity crisis that continues to throw the nation into tumult.

Matir Moyna, however, is not simply a film about Bangladesh. Intentionally or not, Masud's film speaks to struggles not unique to the subcontinent. While the impact of communalism, of language, of borders may be particularly stark in Sonar Bangladesh, these struggles are found around the world.

There is something particularly amazing about watching a film that takes place in a time and place about which most of us know nothing, yet seeing in the struggles not only Bengalis and Pakistanis, not only Hindus and Muslims - but all people, from the dispossessed in urban ghettoes, to the families fighting to survive in the rural countryside; men and women not in control of their government, their society, their nation, but determined to fight, to survive.

Matir Moyna is a beautiful film, and can be enjoyed as such. But it also speaks to us at a deeper level, one in which we recognize not only our faults, our mistakes, but our hopes and dreams for a better life."
Trying to fly
R. Sohi | 03/15/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"From 1947 till 1971 Pakistan was split into two wings on either side of India, the Western wing being what is currently Pakistan and the Eastern one being what is now Bangladesh. Both wings were predominantly Muslim but the political power rested in the Western wing despite Bangladesh being the more populous of the two areas. The tension between the two regions culminated in riots and ultimately a civil war that led to the countries being the separate nations they are today. "The Clay Bird" is set in the late sixties in the Eastern wing when this tension was growing and the struggle against military rule was building. The film presents the political upheaval within the country by showing it in microcosm through the struggles of one family: the patriarch, a kind of born-again-Muslim, standing in for the oppressive forces of the military, the rest of the family, led by the mother's brother representing the growing impulse to break free. The plot is constructed around the family's young son as he is sent to a madrasah (in this case a strict Muslim school) where, unable to connect with most of the other boys, he befriends the outcast of the class - a young boy who escapes the tormenting of his classmates by living in an imaginary world.

The film exoticizes the world it portrays by showing many of the folk traditions of the culture from a tourist's point of view, probably to maximize its appeal to a western audience. It is also fairly heavy-handed in presenting its message through dialogue rather than action and occasionally lapses into melodrama. The characters often come across more as types than real human beings. Yet, despite these flaws, it somehow pulls you into its world through the sheer beauty of its imagery. It's a tourist's point of view but the view is of a tourist with a good eye. The film can also be lauded for attempting to present a more balanced and complex view of Islam than the simplistic one typically promoted in the west.

Not a great film but worth checking out if you're interested in learning more about this region of the world."