Ansar Ahmed Ullah :The national release of Shongram, a Bengali language film, is being shown from 19th of April in cinemas across the UK including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Cardiff, Newcastle and Blackpool.
Shongram is a romantic drama set during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh starring Anupam Kher, Asia Argento alongside Bengali artists Dilruba Yasmeen Ruhee and Amaan Reza.
The film Shongram, the Bengali word for struggle, is the tale of a dying old man in London, reflecting back through his eyes, on his youth, lost love, his home land and the Liberation War of Bangladesh, which like many, he unwillingly became a part of. The story revolves around a young Karim and Asha who falls in love in the most testing of times. This becomes a complicated relationship, as Karim is a Muslim boy and Asha is a Hindu girl – which is just one aspect which provides a rollercoaster journey for the two protagonists. Karim is soon forced to go underground and join a small band of freedom fighters. He must play his role for the cause before he can finally search for the love of his life.
The film is written, directed and produced by Munsur Ali, who made the film in search of his roots and to share the story of the Bangladesh Liberation War to a global audience. Shongram has had successful festival run including the London Indian Film Festival, Kolkata International Film Festival in the ‘Asian Select’ category and nominated for a ‘Netpac Award,’ East End Film Festival and Darpan (Singapore). “It’s not enough to make films for a Bengali audience only, we need to export stories to share our experiences and to compete on the world stage,” said film maker Munsur Ali.
He added, “2019 marks the 48th Anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence, celebrated worldwide. The US State office reports that “One in every fifty people on the planet is a Bangladeshi! With the above in mind, it has never been a better time to share with the world the events leading to 1971 and the very ‘bloody’ nine month independence war that took place. For too long has this era been ignored and not given its proper voice to the world, a shocking event that took place in modern times.”
The film will also highlights key events and dates, such as Bangabandhu’s famous speech on the 7th of March 1971, just before his arrest, the first day of attack on the Bengali civilian population, 25th of March 1971, while also shedding light on the atrocities that took place.
Shongram is a historic film in the making, it is gritty, raw, romantic and nostalgic, while offering an insight in to the cause mass migration. It also reveals to the world the struggles a young man, a nation faced due to prejudice, something that is still very relevant today.