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A Community Kitchen Film Screening

Dear Mother,

Free Cinema Screening

Sk Shuvo Shadique, 2023, Bangladesh, 67mins, Cert. 15

Wed 12 June // 19:30 / Cinema

Tickets: FREE

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Damra, a young mountain girl, grew up believing that her mother lived atop an inaccessible mountain. She decided to write a letter to her mother after learning to write letters at school, but the unexpected death of her father left her wondering how she would send the letter.

Director’s statement:
"Chittagong Hill Tracts is one of the largest areas of this country, and at the same time, it is one of the most militarized regions in the world. One third of the nation’s total number of soldiers are stationed there. In terms of culture, ethnicity, and administrative structure, the Chittagong Hill Tracts area differs from Bangladesh's main territory. Most residents in the area are indigenous. There were no modern amenities like what is referred to as decent healthcare, education, electricity, or other modern amenities.

According to research conducted by the Kapeng Foundation, 364 indigenous women's human rights were violated between 2013 and June 2017. Among them, 106 of the women suffered from physical abuse, 100 were raped, and 66 were the targets of attempted rapes. Any foreign visitor to the mountains must first acquire permission from the government, regardless of whether they are a tourist, journalist, government official, or simply someone's foreign friend. And if he works as a journalist, researcher, or scholar, intelligence officers will keep an eye on his movements to prevent word of the hill from leaking abroad. Except in times of war, such censorship is never practiced.

I don’t know how this type of inhumanity can be tolerated by a human being. And I was determined that I'd tell that story in my way, through filming. The region is strictly under army supervision, even when employing cameras there. So we follow the guerilla filmmaking process, where we have a team of seven crews. I consider it a blessing that I was able to assemble a group of individuals who shared the same blood type in order to present the story of the persecuted hill tracts' inhabitants. The village where we shot the entire movie was quite far away, so we traveled there in secret so that nobody would see us, especially the intelligence officers. Actually, Mro tribes live in that village, and Mro culture was incorporated into our movie's plot. They are the oldest and most marginalized tribes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area. At first, we were only a team of seven, but within a few days, the entire village had joined us as our crew. The whole village took part in our film production, even though we felt that we became the inhabitants of that village. The entire film was shot over the course of two years with one camera, a tiny tripod, a single 24mm lens, and a 60W LED light. We designed the production process within our limitations but never felt constrained."