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THE NATION

In the May 10, 2004, edition of THE NATION, Stuart Klawans wrote:

Opening theatrically on April 30 in New York, San Francisco and San
Rafael, California, is the exceptionally beautiful Bangladeshi feature The
Clay Bird. Directed by Tareque Masud from a script he wrote with producer
Catherine Masud, it's a wonderful example of fluvial cinema, with the
point-of-view character Anu (young Nurul Islam Bablu) dividing his time
between a riverfront Islamic school in town and a riverfront home back in
the country. The period is the late 1960s, just before the violent break
between Bangladesh and Pakistan, and political arguments are swirling
around Anu, with his father (the village's dour homeopath) and the school
principal both arguing for Pakistan as the bastion of Islam, which must
remain strict, militant and united. Anu isn't so sure. He's more concerned
with the well-being of his schoolmate Rokon (an outcast among outcasts)
and his little sister Asma (who needs medical care but gets only her
father's powders). Strongly reminiscent of the films of Satyajit Ray --
what higher praise can I offer? -- The Clay Bird sometimes falters a bit
in its delineation of character but flows magnificently wherever it
observes the landscape, the architecture or a magical series of musical
performances.
Highly recommended.

 

 

 
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