The Clay Bird (2002) Poster

(2002)

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9/10
Beautiful insight into family life in '70 Bangladesh
chris_jamieson9 September 2002
This was one of my surprise favourites of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2002. It painted a rich picture of life in Bangladesh during the revolutionary period of the 1970's with all it's highs and lows. It is filmed in a very documentary style (the director is a seasoned documentary film maker) with all the facts carefully shown to allow the viewer to make up their own mind on things. The visuals are very clean and colourful (again very documentary-esque) with beautiful shots of the fantastic Bangladeshi landscape. The music used in the film seems to be traditional (not that I know much about traditional Bangladeshi music!) and is very touching.

What is truly remarkable about this film is the way all it's points are well balanced, not showing anything to be absolutely right nor wrong. It's portrayal of Islam is fascinating and I learned more about the religion than I'd known before.

Another astonishing point I got from the film was it painted such a good picture of humanity, warts and all. I was watching this pictures of a normal family who's lives are supposed to be so much different than mine, different culture, politics, religion, who live on the other side of the world and yet then seemed so natural and so familiar, not that different at all really.

It's a film I will never forget and I truly recommend that anybody who gets the chance to see it should.
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10/10
Not just a story
camillemallat12 November 2003
Matir Moina does not only offer a story. Films in general do not need to offer just a story. Any book, play, storyteller, TV series and other media can do that. Being interested in Hindi, Punjabi, Pakistani and Bengali films, music(s), religions and cultures, I was marvelled at Matir Moina for its richness and subtleties on all levels. Bringing forth the complex currents of religious and political movements, showing how each react to one another, and how illusions can be shattered. The beautiful hope of Islam, as being a religion of the heart and not the sword. The post-colonial ebb and flow in cultural identity: people's reactions to British or western thought turns into a sterile regression.

The photography is marvelous, rendering rich textures of age-old village houses, walls and heaven-like gardens in an honest and aesthetic mastery.

The spectator is not taken for granted or for a fool, actors speak Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and Farsi when they have to, and seem more to "be" than to "act". No two-dimensional stereotype is used, as in the classical Hindi "lover", "hater", "gorgeous-bachelor-husband-to-be" and the "beautiful-single-virgin-singer/dancer-lover". Only true faces, true types, true clothes and true singing. The music. If you search for original Hindi/Urdu devotional or not songs and music, this film is packed with it. And unlike other films, you do not feel that actor/singers are faking it, there are not fake instruments that are just there for the looks but don't actually sound on the score. What you see is what you hear. The voices are breathtaking; the lyrics do not revolve around "flat-love" and "depthless-poetry", making it a treasure for the ear as well for the curious eye. This is a gem. The whole film unfolds slowly and steadily around many characters, showing how each develops under harsh social changes and instability.

It is not action-packed and fast-paced. It is not pink-tinted and kitschy love oriented. It is not over the top overdone musical. This is a serious art film, beautiful in its silences and in its screams. Human in its depiction of its characters. Respectful in its dealing with religion. Credible in it acting. A must, for an internal view of what happened to Bangladesh in particular, and to the vast region in general.

Can't wait to see it again.
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10/10
One of the best movies of Bangladesh
adnan_reza_bd29 May 2007
When I began to watch this film for the first time, I knew that it was a good film and was in the limelight that time. At first I was little bit bored because the film was going little slow. But as the film continued, my boredom turned into excitement and by the time the film finished, I was fully contented. Casting, acting , plot everything was great and perfect. It may be called an art film but as entertaining as well. Those who are familiar with Bangladeshi culture would realize the demand of such kind of a film. It tells the story of superstitious and conservative culture of the then East Pakistan. Some parts of the culture are alive in the villages till now. So this film has a great social significance. Its director Tareque Masud said that he made this film based on his childhood memories. That's one of the main reason of its success. Its based on reality. It represents our traditional cultural structure. Looking forward to watch more great films like this.
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10/10
One masterpiece to rule!!!!!!!
irasul6 November 2002
Tareq Masud excels as the director of "Matir Moina". His early works on the glorious liberation war "Muktir Gaan" & "Muktir Kotha" - his other masterpieces clearly shows the rise of an world class director.

Here he ables himself to portray the beginning of the revolution before the 1971 war with a cool picture of a village where religious strictness & openness both coexists and puts Anu - the central character with a different view. This is the real picture of a moderate muslim country like Bangladesh - where some people are regularly trying to shatter the image of the nice country. This movie will clear the views of the worldwide viewers about Bangladesh.

It can be said that this should be a tough contender in the Oscars. Good luck Tareq Masud!!!!!!!!!!!!
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A Beautifully Haunting Film
lckt1323 May 2004
I don't know why the person from Newcastle UK had a problem in following this wonderful storyline and characters of which there were but a few. Perhaps it was too engaging and not of the Monty Python genre!

I found the film beautifully directed, filmed, and acted. the history of this forsaken country is well known with tribal and governmental conflicts over many centuries. the depiction of the religious conflicts and family matters was masterfully rendered.

the zealotry of the father eventually destroyed everything worthwhile in his life - daughter, son, wife and brother. one could see the demise progress throughout the film. a lesson worth remembering which i believe was the focus and intent of the makers of the film.
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A movie worthwhile for the music alone.
bengaligravy30 March 2006
The Clay Bird, or "Matir Moina" succeeds in reminding Bangladeshis that we have long ignored the basis of our religious beliefs and cultural practices. The spread of Islam was not brought about by the sword alone, but by mystics and Sufis who believed that the love of self and the love of mankind was a spiritual journey in itself. I thoroughly enjoyed the musical score, consisting of a handful of Bangladeshi folk-"Baoul"- songs, performed by skillful musicians. The acting was not exaggerated, although some expressions of emotion in certain scenes seemed a bit contrived. Generally, it was a commendable job all around, a well put on show by ordinary, everyday people who were given a sudden chance to act in an independent movie about extraordinary events in the lives of ordinary, everyday people. The use of unsure, self-doubting, often confused characters, instead of black and white caricatures with clear-cut agendas, infuses this film with life and allows, even invites, Bangladeshis to identify with the sub plot. This movie is worthwhile watching for the musical score alone.
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7/10
A Thought-Provoking Attempt Hampered by a Lack of Clear Vision
Muldwych30 July 2010
"The bird's trapped in the body's cage. Its feet bound by worldly chains, it tries to fly but fails." 'The Clay Bird' opens a door into Bangladesh's fight for independence in the late 1960s when the soon-to-be nation state was a far-flung region of Pakistan, following the partitioning of India in 1947. Increasingly disenchanted with the distant central government due to racial, cultural and economic discrimination, Bangladeshis began taking to the streets in protest, demanding a general election as the springboard for autonomous rule. The election was cancelled and the Pakistani military were sent in to quell the uprising, murdering thousands and destroying population centres. A civil war ensued, eventually leading to independence in 1971. The film is set just prior to the prolonged and bloody uprising, as citizens find themselves galvanized along religious and political lines, with tempers beginning to fray. Rather than depict events at the heart of the capital, the story centres around the lives of a rural family in a remote village, bearing witness to the way in which the winds of change blew across the ordinary citizen. While the intent of this is sound, the end result is something of a mixed bag.

The plight of the family proves an effective allegory for the various Bangladeshi attitudes to the turmoil their world is in. Kazi, the father, a born-again Muslim, reflects the ultra-conservative stand that faith and discipline will unite the people under Allah, and is unable or unwilling to accept that the deeply fractured society around him faces problems that cannot be solved through prayer. Milon, his brother, a young political extremist, stands ready to fight for the nation with the unwavering confidence of the just. Ayesha, Kazi's apolitical wife meanwhile, is interested simply in getting through the ordinary day to day struggles of life. Asma, the daughter, is too young to be constrained by the petty concerns of adults, while Anu, the young son, is propelled unwillingly by conflicting forces and ideologies he doesn't understand. It is the nation in miniature, about to burst at the seams.

Yet there is a somewhat meandering quality to the pacing, perhaps in part because the writer has not entirely decided upon the story he wants to tell. It could very easily simply be the story of a young boy forced to attend a madrasa (Islamic boarding school) by a father terrified his son's mind will be polluted by non-Islamic ideas and therein be a commentary on Islamic extremism itself. Indeed, a large chunk of the film is just that: there is a very telling scene where the young Anu and his uncle watch a Hindu boat race, clearly enjoying themselves, only to be reprimanded for celebrating diversity. Kazi's religious fervour has him at odds with the rest of his family, incapable of being the father and husband they so desperately need. The dogma strangles the family to the point of dysfunction. Equally telling is the character of Milon, whose more secular and open-minded world view is the foundation for the forthcoming nation-state. Religious dogma is equated with denial, while the activist is the realist.

Fortunately, the Islamic discourse eventually digs deeper and there is a nice scene where two of the madrasa teachers make the point that the religion spread so successfully across Bangladesh precisely because it was a peaceful ideology. Whatever one's beliefs, there can be no denying that this sort of discourse on Islam is rarely found outside of Islamic countries. The very idea that it must be spread by force and violence is just such a question pondered with dismay by one teacher struggling to understand how religion became part of the rising civil war in the first place. That the Muslim extremists involved in acts of terrorism rivaling the invading Pakistani army might be missing the point is one of the many tragedies of that war, though it is important to remember that many factors came into play, not least cultural and economic destitution. However, director Tarique Masud does not adequately explore these factors, which if the aim is to give a snapshot of society during that time is quite remiss, suggesting that he is more interested on religious commentary. Yet the film goes beyond the madrasa, so that those set up as the main characters then disappear for long stretches like the inhabitants of a Tolkien novel. This unravels the sequences designed to build up character story lines, with the disjointed result leading to the uneven pacing. This leaves the conflicts faced by some to be either insufficiently built up or not satisfyingly followed through. Masud ultimately needed to choose one storyline and stay with it.

Nonetheless, the cast perform with the conviction and skill necessary to draw the viewer into their characters' worlds – when we are able. However, standouts for me include Russell Farazi as Rokon, Anu's one true friend at the madrasa - a likable, yet misunderstood loner, and the young Farazi is more than able to imbue the character with the complexities that reside in such a part. Soaeb Islam, meanwhile, brings to the wannabe revolutionary a warmth often without any dialogue whatsoever. And while Kazi, the stiff-necked Islamic convert, gives Jayanto Chattopadhyay not a lot of range, this does allow for a meaningful scene at the end where the horrors of war force the character to face his religious convictions. And while Nurul Islam Bablu is no Marina Golhabari, he gives Anu the profound innocence that the script requires of the character.

Ultimately, 'The Clay Bird' is not quite the tale of Bengali struggle it purports to be, due to unfortunate scripting and editing choices that take much of the wind out of its sails as a result. However, it opened up a window into a history with which I was hitherto unfamiliar, with many thought-provoking and sometimes touching sequences that still manage to shine through – even if the sum of the parts is conspicuous by its absence.
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10/10
A great art film.
nhr23814 September 2007
I have marked it excellent and it can be defined by only one word 'ART'. It is rare @Bangladesh to produce ART films Caz these are not commercially benefited.Tareque masud And Catherine Masud have proved that From Bangladesh It is make world class film. Matir moina have a nice combination of simple pictures and a frustrating culture of lower middle class. They have a dark world governed by Religious Dogma. And they don't like to break their narrow life. But nature effects on them. And truth rises. And I have seen here The so-called 'Allah' couldn't save that believer's daughter. A girl was dead. But I question To Tareque Masud did he want to show the crippled culture of Islam or just wished to be liberal to religion and project light to a the direction where religions will go parallel.
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9/10
Rich story, casting and direction.
exdeznation23 May 2006
"""""0 out of 3 people found the following comment useful:- Too many characters and too little story., 13 October 2003 Author: Meejoir from Newcastle, England

I was very disappointed with The Clay Bird.

I found that the story chopped and changed from one character to another all to frequently, failing to stay long enough on one part of the story for you to really care what was happening.

Yes, some of it was beautifully shot, but I have said this before with other films, is it possible to not to have glorious scenery in a place as geographically beautiful as Bangladesh?

I would rather the story concentrated on 2 or perhaps 3 of the characters, giving a far more detailed account of life in this traumatic part of Bangladesh's history.""""

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To Meejoir from Newcastle, England, Don't think this story from the perspective of your culture. You said"Too many characters and too little story." but it based on a great history of Bangladesh and the different mentality of our people..

This movie is simply rich in its story, casting and direction. TWO THUMBS UP !!!
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8/10
Dormant message through lives of 70s
cfhasib28 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Very beautifully captured the lives of the late 60s and early 70 of Bangladesh. From a cinematography stand point, it is one of the higher quality films that has been produced in the context of the Indian subcontinent.

The message is bit quite powerful and sarcastic that essentially focus on the core fundamentalism and Islamic exaggeration in the day to day social life.

Few flaws are visible in the film, specially some of the unprofessional acting are evident but it is nominal as it is obscured by the powerful story line.

Not sure if Tarek used Tarkovoski's sculpting in time concept, but some of the shots are quite long and do take us to the time where the story is happening.

I would give a 7.5 or 8 (kinda confused)for this movie. A must see film specially for the Bangladeshi film lovers.
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10/10
The Real Objective Of The Film ! ( The Clay Bird - Bangladeshi Movie )
amjonota-russel23 December 2014
The real objective of the film, it seems, is to depict the ignorance and misunderstanding about the real cause of the struggle for freedom in then-East Pakistan, just before war of liberation. The film is about the mentality of the Bengali Muslims and their feeling about Pakistan, which largely arises from their apprehensions about the fate of Islam in the new country (i.e., Bangladesh). For many at the time, it was difficult to separate Islam from Pakistan, and so the rise of a new nation seemed to be a threat to Islam. However, the film sometimes establishes Islam and clerics as the source of evil and violence, as blind faith seems to be equated with social injustice. At the end of the film, one character says, "your Muslim brothers have killed them," a phrase that may sum up some of the objectives of the filmmaker. The depiction of some Muslims as ignorant may even be a ploy on the filmmaker's part to make the "other" acceptable to Western viewers. Nonetheless, several viewpoints are depicted, and Islam is seen in a broad, critical light.

One of the best Bangladeshi movie I have ever seen.
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This the first movie from Bangladesh nominated for Oscar
manzur_physio16 October 2010
Matir Moyna, known in English as The Clay Bird is a Bengali film directed by Tareque Masud, a film director of Bangladesh. The film was released in 2002. This the first movie from Bangladesh nominated for Oscars. The film is set in the late-'60s, prior to Bangladeshi independence from Pakistan; the film deals with a young boy named Anu, in a Bangladeshi small-town, with his strict and deeply religious father, mother and little sister.The story starts with a boy Anu whose father fears his boy's corruption by the outside world sends his son to study in to a strict Islamic school called Madrassa.

This film reveals many allegations and documented cases of physical abuse in madrassas, such as corporal punishment, beatings and other such practices ( for example writing Arabic with left hand was a great sin, having TV which considered as a box of a Satan in home etc).
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8/10
Accomplished film
Andy-29613 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This interesting, accomplished movie is set in what is today Bangladesh in the late 1960s, just before it gained independence from Pakistan in a bloody war. The film is mostly about how a family living in a village is affected by the political changes coming.

Kazi, the father, is a strict Muslim who does not want his children to be tainted by secular ideas. He sends his son Anu to a Madrassa and is angry when his brother, the bespectacled, open minded Milon brings Anu to watch a Hindu festival. His obedient though doubtful wife, Ayesha, quietly expresses her concerns and feels more and more at odds with Kazi's religious fervor (the movie is quite critical of Islamic fundamentalism, and because of that it was released in Bangladesh only several years after it was filmed) Kazi's is loyal to Pakistan, and is devastated when he learns of the war coming in which the Muslim Pakistani army attacks and massacre Muslim Bengalis. His brother Milon, on the other hand, favors the Bengalis and decide to fight the Pakistani army.

The director has sympathy for all his characters -even the harsh father is given a reason for his actions. This is indicative of a humanist approach to cinema. In that sense, it's easy to relate this movie to the Asian tradition of social realist cinema to people like Satyajit Ray (especially his Apu trilogy), Ritwik Ghattak or the earlier films of Abbas Kiarostami.

Is there a flaw in this movie? At times, their characters express too directly their political views. If it would have been just a little more subtle and less didactic in that regard, it might have been a perfect film. Bengali folk songs are nicely intercalated during the movie, mostly explaining the religious and political situation.
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10/10
one of the best iv ever seen
shapnic18 October 2003
well..really hard to believe that in Bangladesh such kinda great movies are being produced...one of it's own kind! the story sketches the heart of the rural bangla and the culture... the direction is superb.. well..really hard to believe that in Bangladesh such kinda great movies are being produced...one of it's own kind! the story sketches the heart of the rural bangla and the culture... the direction is superb
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9/10
Incredible
anontapds16 February 2019
What a wonderful film it is. I have never seen such a touching Bangla film like The Clay Bird. God blass Tareque Masud.
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10/10
Masterpiece
avik359917 September 2018
What a detailed description of an age! The sorrow and little happiness lives together here!
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9/10
Different and mesmerizing storytelling!
smaminbdasia17 February 2016
The film "The Clay Bird", also known as "Matir Moina", has brought about a groundbreaking development in the Bengal film industry while there was a very few films to be proud of as a Bangladeshi audience. It is the story about a child named Anu and his journey through different dimensions. Being brought up in a protective family, Anu was sent to a boarding religious school, locally known as a Madrasah. There he got to experience new things and meet new kids and people from diverse background. Anu finds Rokon, fellow student and a kid with weird behavior, as a trustworthy friend. Simultaneously, Anu's family has been going through various challenges battling against the superstitions of Anu's father who is so possessive about his beliefs and decisions. The film also pictured the political dilemma and controversy in people during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971.
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9/10
A true soul of Bangladesh !
rizwaanulhuq12 January 2015
The Clay Bird is a genuine story of its kind, full of warmth and charm, of exquisite symbolism, of ripping tensions of politics, adeptly told by Late Tareq Masud, a rave combination of content and craft from the cinematic landscape of Bangladesh. It's one of the finest films Bangladesh has ever produced with credited picturesque cinematography and technical soundness. Winner of a Cannes accolade and the first-ever official entry of Bangladesh to Academy Awards (in 2002), it deserves an engaging watch as it offers you more than what it contains on its gritty surface of celluloid.

Placed in the time line of liberation war of Bangladesh, the movie begins with the idyllic life a common, everyday family in a village in Bangladesh. Anu, the juvenile protagonist, goes through the turbulent time of transformation taking place in the political scenario of the then East Pakistan and the coming crises of liberation war. The director offers you a look into the reality through the eye of a juvenile who wants to make sense of things at odds.

The best part of the movie is its symbolism, projections of materials and scenes, which parallel a bunch of deeper meanings. The clay bird itself is a symbol of a Sufi treat, the urge to get emancipation from the earthly desires, the urge of liberation of human soul from earthly vessel of clay to the divine. The Sufi connotations are also present in the songs, such as: 'Pakhita Bondy ache deher khachay' ('The bird is caged in the shackles of body'). The girl sings the song in folk song battle. The clay bird does also symbolize the urge of making religion sane, making it proper and free, more human, more divine, more realistic than only the shackles of laws and regulations, rigid conducts and senseless allegiance. It also signifies the tension of society to accommodate the contesting rivals, aesthetics and belief.

This is symbolically true representation of the then clergy over the mass, the tendency of controlling the every business even just a trivial toy of a child. In metaphysical level, the bird also symbolizes the society, which is judged, controlled, and authored by the superior forces often without the sensibility to its human nature.

In this movie, Masud places songs trickily, in to the contexts, suggesting deeper aesthetic meanings, manifesting the ironies, or scratching questions to the intellect of audience's mind. Most of the songs are rare collection of folk songs, traditional baul songs (songs practiced by the homeless saints) or puthi (a kind of recitation of poetry with proper pace depicting the stories, sometimes religious issues, such as, the fatal battle of Karbala or Abraham's sacrifice of Ishmael (as Muslims believe). Bauls are secular in nature and the song sides with the common, grounded perspective, the true secular nature of common people of Bangladesh. The puthi (recitation of poetry) manifests a tension of father's choice and mother's dilemma, the matriarchal nature of Bengali society is echoed through Bibi Hazera's (Hager, mother of Ishmael) concern over her son rather than the patriarchal chivalry of first son's sacrifice to God. The song about Ali and Fatema is interesting too as we see the song glorifying the spiritual greatness of Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) daughter Fatima (pbuh) over her husband Ali (pbuh). We see an elderly woman is rubbing the red vermilion off her head. Red vermilion is symbol of marriage to Hindu woman and the elderly woman is doing in fear of Pakistani occupational army lest the girls not be raped. The song ends with this scene connoting the complete contrast of celebrity of femininity and its disrespect.

The movie paints an authentic tension of a society in search of its identity and political allegiance. Anu's father, Kazi Saheb, as an example, is a pro- Pakistan, pro-Islam person who believes in the unity of Pakistan. In contrast, we find Anu's young uncle, Milon, engaged in talk of Marxism, a pro- progressive guy who hopes high for liberation from autocratic rule of Pakistani militia. In the same family, two generations are in odds with their views. The Boatman's perspectives are also sarcastic, a bit pragmatic, and down-to-earth. His conversation to Anu's uncle, Milon, is quite true in the context of present Bangladesh. Indeed, the country is free from Pakistan in 71, but the political freedom of common man is still a far away thing.

Anu's friend's illness is quite interesting. First Maulovi (Boro Huzur) thinks he is possessed by Jinns (demons) and treated in a voodoo manner. His illness parallels with the condition of the country and how it is mistreated. Anu's sister, Asma, also dies. She has been treated with homeopathic medicine (a common trend back then). Anu's father, Kazi Saheb, fails to cure her and she dies. His rigidity ends up with a fatal blow, death of his daughter, with an awakened realization of the reality of failure of his faith over old ways. He may be honest and simple but fails to feel the pulse of an ailing society with crisis he has never met before, someone caught into the vicious cycle of stagnation, of rigidity of faith, of endless loop of old solutions to coming crises.

Masud, intelligently, places himself as an observer, someone who is bringing a slice of 70's Bangladesh, how it looked back then, how people have gone through the formation of essential elements of coming liberation, the ripping tension between the old and new. As if, what he offers is nothing but the truth, and only truth reported from a perspective of a man, a boy or an entity which is trying to figure out the world at odds without judging what is good or bad, innocent or evil. It offers a nice representation of rural Bangladesh back then in '71 with every authenticity you can imagine, a piece of art devoid of chauvinistic chivalry of patriotism or melodrama of social romance.
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6/10
A beautifully shot film which ultimately doesn't do justice to an interesting plot
mtchowdhury31 January 2005
Matir Moina, brilliantly shot against lovely Bangladeshi scenery, is set up well with a good opening which presents the audience with some interesting dilemmas around how religion is practised and taught in Muslim schools in Bangladesh, and how this grates against the more liberal, open rural society. However, having set this up, the film doesn't fulfil its initial promise. In the end, the film ends up opening up and exploring too many themes, ultimately not achieving enough depth in any. This is a shame, since the initial premise touches upon some pertinent themes still very much relevant in modern-day Bangladeshi society. There are also some rather contrived parallels to the civil war, not really necessary to enhance the film.
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Too many characters and too little story.
meejoir13 October 2003
I was very disappointed with The Clay Bird.

I found that the story chopped and changed from one character to another all to frequently, failing to stay long enough on one part of the story for you to really care what was happening.

Yes, some of it was beautifully shot, but I have said this before with other films, is it possible to not to have glorious scenery in a place as georgraphically beautiful as Bangladesh?

I would rather the story concentrated on 2 or perhaps 3 of the characters, giving a far more detailed account of life in this traumatic part of Bangladesh's history.
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7/10
A once banned film
Zoooma14 August 2014
A film from Bangladesh that was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and was initially banned in Bangladesh due to it being too religiously sensitive. It is a great attempt to tell the story of a family during that nation's rise to independence in the late 1960's. Hindus and Muslims vs. the Pakistani Army. Liberal religious freedom vs. strict Islam and the madrassa. Fantastic performances but the story is too jumpy between characters, never allowing one situation to fully play itself out. Still it has terrific cinematography and performances from the actors. Surely is an interesting view into this bit of world history and was the first ever film from Bangladesh to be submitted for consideration for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

6.9 / 10 stars

--Zoooma, a Kat Pirate Screener
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5/10
Dreary yet valiant effort...
dwpollar16 April 2009
1st watched 4/14/2009 – 5 out of 10 (Dir-Tareque Masud): Dreary yet valiant effort at portraying Pakastani Muslim life thru the eyes of a village in the late 60's during a time right before the country gained it's independence. The story is really more about the village and a specific family then it is about the politically-charged culture of the time but it does eventually affect the village. The family's devout Muslim father sends his son to an Islam school at the beginning of the movie to keep him away from Hindu influences from other villagers. The boy's school life is really the main storyline thru most of the movie as he begins a friendship with another boy who has his own difficulties and he learns the Muslim ways. He returns home occasionally to see the family crumbling under the strict father's rules. The father is a holistic medicine man who refuses certain medications and basically causes his daughter to die and his wife separate emotionally from him. This attitude never does him much good, but he never learns from it. The movie is slow moving but interesting mainly because it's neat to learn about other cultures. The village converse about the goings-ons in the bigger cities but that's really all we see about the political issues.(I guess the movie makers didn't want to show the violence but it might have helped move the story along better.) The movie overall is just not quite good enough for me to recommend due to the slow moving aspect and the fact that they left some characters lost without telling us what happened to them. It is nice though hearing from a country that we don't hear from often in the movies.
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