বাংলাদেশ স্বাধীন হয়েছিল লক্ষ প্রাণের বিনিময়ে। পাকিস্তানী সেনাবাহিনীর আক্রমণে দীর্ঘ নয় মাসে আমরা হারিয়েছি বাবা, মা, ভাই আর বোনকে। আমাদের মুক্তিসেনােদের রক্তে পবিত্র হয়েছে এই দেশের মাটি। বহু নারী হারিয়েছেন তাদের সম্ভ্রম। দেশ স্বাধীন হওয়ার পর সেই বীরাঙ্গনা নারীরা জন্ম দিয়েছিলেন যুদ্ধ শিশু। সেই শিশুদের পরিচয়ের সন্ধানে শবনম ফেরদৌসীর দীর্ঘ গবেষণার ফসল ‘জন্মসাথী চলচ্চিত্র’। শবনম ফেরদৌসী ‘জন্মসাথী’ সিনেমাটি তৈরী করেছিলেন এক বছর আগে। কিছুদিন আগে ‘জন্মসাথী’ ঢাকায় একটি চলচ্চিত্র উৎসবে পুরষ্কারও পেয়েছে।পুরষ্কিৃত হয়েছে দেশের বাইরেও।সম্প্রতি ছবিটি দেখে আমেরিকা ও ইউরোপের দুজন নারী চলচ্চিত্র নির্মাতা অ্যালেক্সিস ক্যাসলিওভস্কি ও ক্লেমেনটাইন অ্যাডভেরিন ‘জন্মসাথী’ নিয়ে পরিচালক শবনম ফেরদৌসীকে পাঠিয়েছেন চিঠি ।
চিঠিদুটো আমরা প্রাণের বাংলার পাঠকদের জন্য ই!রেজি ভাষায় হুবহু মুদ্রিত করলাম।
অ্যালেক্সিস ক্যাসলিওভস্কির চিঠিঃ
Thank you for sharing your haunting video with me. It was an honor to be asked to watch it. I remember meeting you at the museum which produced this film, and being blown away by the exhibit there. The film should be a good accompaniment to that exhibit.
The stories of the mothers who were raped as a result of the war, their suffering and their children’s suffering, are all clearly described. The fact that you were born in the same hospital as some of these war babies is an effective tie-in to allow us to feel a more personal connection.
To me the documentary’s pace is a bit slow, but that could be my Western sensibility, clogged by too many action films. The suspense of whether or not we’ll meet some of these grown-up war babies isn’t as intense as it could be for me, but it’s a good structural strategy.
The footage of Bangladesh – the cutaways of the clouds, the rice fields, the details of decorations, etc., is utterly beautiful, and the portrayals of the three “war babies”‘ lives is moving. I was also impressed by the female authorities that you interviewed. You’ve left no stone unturned in trying to find the truths behind their suffering and thousands of other war babies. It’s also moving how difficult a journey it is to find any documentation in your painstaking search, a feeling that is compounded knowing that war babies exist in war zones throughout the world, whether in Bangladesh, Vietnam, or World Wars One and Two. May the tribunals become more effective now and in the future in alleviating the pain of these mothers’ and children’s lives and in making the rapists and their officers who allowed the rapes to occur accountable!
It was shocking to me that last month a student at the prestigious Stanford University got a sentence of only six months for raping an unconscious girl, while the man who raped one of the war babies – granted, one of the only men held accountable for the thousands of rapes committed in the war – received the death sentence. Such extremes in sentencing should be questioned, I feel. I’m glad that the UN passed a resolution making rape during war a war crime, at least: That’s an improvement during our lifetimes.
I wish you success in getting your documentary shown in Bangladesh and abroad.
“Born Together” shows great compassion for the women who were raped by soldiers of the Pakistani army during the war between Bangladesh and Pakistan. These soldiers were never brought to justice, while most of the women and their war babies were ostracized further from their communities and treated like pariahs. This film makes the important point that the birth of a country cannot be separated from the painful recognition of its “war babies” and that for a country to grow to maturity its morality must extend to giving these mothers and their now-grown children the sympathy and opportunity for justice and survival that they deserve.
Good luck with “Born Together”!
ক্ল্যামেন্টাইন অ্যডভেরিনের চিঠিঃ
I am deeply touched by your movie Born Together.
I liked your concept: Your own Birthday, the start of a journey to an unknown world for yourself aswell: a black page in the history of your people: Harm done to your country. Harm done especially to many women. Harm that still is be done on them
You took me on a journey.
The intrduction is strong: History and facts become a personal queest: 13 baby’s born at the same day in a Hospital. You are one of them. Your personal question echoo’s in my mind. The focus on the little babies in their beds touches my heart. All have the same start, but they have different destinies.
I like the way you mix your historical interest with your personal feelings. The historical facts are shocking. Slowly I feel the conflict: Your longing to know about this children and the official reality which likes to errase this dark side of your society. No facts and no names available and I wonder how will you get access to this closed world?
The way you introduce the”war babies ” with their mothers and families and their their daily lives in their community is touching and shocking at the same time
Your style changes.
Your camera becomes personal and takes time to come closer . It “caresses” each person: The mother, The son, the brother, the wife, the daughter/ the other woman and her daughter
The rural environment. The poverty which makes people an easy victim, unprotected.
I can feel the female touch more and more! The eye that sees from within.
Your questions are sincere and simple. Right from your heart.
You show me a world of pain, injustice, exclusion. I am shocked by the way the communities treat their”bastards”
But you show me very strong people as well. The grandfather who protects his ” pretty” daughter who comes home with a baby , after she was given away to the Pakistani soldiers and in this way saved the life of the family . He protects her against the villagers who want to kill her bastard baby. The mother , who loves her son ,although he was conceived under brutal circumstances. The son, pure, sincere, caring for his mother, wife and daughter. The moment he testifies on the trial of the lawyer is very shocking aswell. Especially the moment he leaves! Showing the big gap between 2 worlds, The long way before justice can be done! The complex phases your country needs to go through in order to be able to heal it wounds. Papers versus his all day reality. No education for him after his grandfathers dead. No one to protect him anymore to open new worlds. But his mothers love is always there. and later the love of his wife and daughter .
When you meet the other mother and daughter there is another painful reality . There is no family protection for them . Their life is insecure. Death is always near. No safe place to talk. People can kill them whenever they want. Not the Pakistani soldiers this time but their own community members . How can this be in 2017 ?? I wonder . Who is educating them? Who is protecting this warchilds and their mothers.? Giving them a safe place to live?
I can feel how these people affect you. You are coming closer and closer and you take me as an audience with you. Your last meeting with the daughter is very special. You are wearing simple pants ,a sweater and sport shoes. No luxury sari. No painted face. Pure,just like them. You embrase each other and you offer her to come and live with you but she refuses and tells you she will go abroad, unknown ,far away from her community,determined to leave the cage and spread her wings and Fly.. How can she find a new home? I think. Where can she go alone without any money? Who will help her? An what about her mother?
The other young woman who has been adopted comes to Bangladesh with one urgent question: Why did you give us away?
Her question is interesting and hopefully she got an answer .
But there might be another question more important for the present now:
How can you educate your communities to deal with pain and harm inflicted on them by others ?
You made a very special movie.
My compliments and congratulations
I can feel the title: Born Together. Very well chosen.
Aren’t we all born together?
Where are you showing this movie in your country?
Do you show it at schools ? At universities?
Do you bring it to decision makers?
What kind of reactions you got?
প্রাণের বাংলা প্রতিবেদক