Tareque Masud, Cannes award-winning independent filmmaker from Bangladesh, who inspired a whole generation of filmmakers in this country to dare to dream of making independent cinema, could not complete his dream film “Kagozer Phool” (Paper Flower).
Tareque’s untimely death on August 13, 2011, ended a celluloid dream for Bangladesh. The filmmaker was just 55.
In response to a call from Tareque’s widow Catherine, hundreds of friends of the filmmaker gathered at the commemoration programme on August 26, 2011, titled ‘Tareque Masud: His Life and Dreams (1955-2011). Rights activist Hameeda Hossain, artist Mostafa Monwar, filmmaker Nasiruddin Yousuff, filmmaker Morshedul Islam, actress Sara Zaker and Rokeya Prachy, among others recalled their memories with Tareque Masud at the programme.
Those flowing tributes have now been published in the form of a book bearing same title.
The articles in the book trace the rise of Tareque who had emerged as the face of Bangladesh’s alternate independent filmmaking. A proud South Asian, he was among a few filmmakers to make a mark both in his own country and in international circuits, a dual achievement that evades many from this region.
In Muktir Gaan, he let the theme speak for itself. For those among us who saw the War of Liberation as history that was swiftly slipping out of our grasp, Tareque Masud, through Muktir Gaan, helped us claim it back in our collective life. More to the point, it was to the young, to those born after the war, that he offered a glimpse into history. Tareque Masud did for us what political propaganda could never do.
In Matir Moyna, in Ontorjatra, in Runway, it is individual conscience meshing with social awareness that you come by. Tareque Masud was the consummate film maker, one particularly fortunate in spotting a partner, a wife, in Catherine Masud who was forever ready and willing to go out on a limb to help him suffuse our universe with the glow of enlightenment.
Catherine Masud has stated that the book is one of a series of publications to be brought out as part of the work of the Tareque Masud Memorial Trust. We look forward to more publications that throw light on Tareque’s work.
Nasiruddin Yusuf wrote: “Beyond the edge of life and death, there you wait my friend. We will be excited by his love of life, his path to creation. This is Tareque’s life and dream.”
Shortly before he died, in a television interview, Tareque had uncannily said: “If we had another life, we would make all our dream films”.
Tareque Masud is no longer with us. But the people he inspired continue to celebrate his life and work, evidenced by sentiments eloquently expressed in the book of tributes. His dream lives on.
‘Tareque Masud: Life and Dreams’, published by Prothoma Publications, will be available at prominent bookshops at the price of taka one thousand only.
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