Tale of Dhaka carnage hogs limelight at open forum

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM May 22. The Open Forum being held in connection with the Second International Video Festival now underway here, came alive today, with five leading film personalities from three different nations participating in it -- Canadian film makers Philip Hoffman and Jane Hoffman, Kawsar Chowdhury from Bangladesh, the noted Malayalam film-maker, K.G. Geoge, and Sunil Jacob from the Centre for Environmental Education, Ahmedabad.

However, it was the `Tale of the darkest Night', made by Kawsar Chowdhury that hogged the limelight. The film was screened yesterday at one of the four venues.

The Pakistani aggression of 1971 had left deep scars on the psyche of the new nation of Bangladesh. It is the story of the genocide by the Pakistan army on the Dhaka University Campus that Kawsar has narrated in a heart-rending manner in this film. Giving voice to the surviving family members and witnesses, the havoc of that night has been brought alive.

The film, in fact, is a tale full of sound and fury signifying so many things for a nation and its sacrifice for independence, the director said. It is a mirror towards the past for the youth of today to see, he added.

K.G.George's `Mrugathrushna' (Mirage) is an adaptation of a short story written by the renowned Malayalam writer, T. Padmanabhan. To the criticism that it had been filmed in a rather `amateurish' fashion, the director responded that the film being a contract work he had no obligation to the story.

There was no properly organised film industry in Canada as in India, said Jane Hoffman. She was of the opinion that video was not a proper art form. Being experimental is the prime concern of those in this medium and its production was entirely different from film-making. "I intend to reflect this aspect through my films," she said in reply to the comment that some of her films failed to communicate the message.

Philip Hoffman, whose retrospective has been featured for the festival and Sunil Jacob who brought in the packages from Changing Currents and Truth Talking Productions also shared their concepts of visual imagination with the gathering.

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