Thursday, January 23, 2014

Movie Review: Chorabali

Chorabali, director Redoan Rony's debut feature film, is an action/suspense thriller starring Indraneil Sengupta as 'Sumon, a ruthless assassin in the employ of a local Don. The Financial Express dismissed the film as "old wine in a new bottle," noting that the plot does not venture far from the stereotypical Dhallywood film. To a certain extent they're right, but coming from a country whose film industry is preparing to release Fast and Furious 7, I can hardly judge Rony's decision to launch his feature filmography by sticking to what works. While Chorabali may follow a familiar script, though, it makes a clear departure from the norm in cinematic quality. The acting and camera work are fairly excellent throughout, and the main characters are familiar, but at the same time more complex than the two-dimensional villains and heroes action movies often rely on. Chorabali isn't a cultural artifact like Matir Moina, or an arthouse film like Third Person Singular Number. But it's not supposed to be. It's an action movie. A crime thriller. And it's a pretty damn good one.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Rickshaw Miking

 Rickshaw miking is one of the many charming practices that take place almost daily across Bangladesh. In order to convey local announcements, someone will rent a PA, complete with massive horn speakers and attach it to a rickshaw. They will have the rickshaw wala pedal them around the village while they repeat their announcement over the loudspeakers. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Empowering Women Through Horticultural Innovations

The USAID Horticulture Project in Bangladesh aims to educate and train local farmers on innovative agricultural technologies that help diversify crops to increase nutritional value. With our partners the International Potato Center, AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, BRAC and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), we are working with local farmers to diversify diets and agricultural production systems with potato, orange-fleshed sweet potato, summer tomato, and nutritious indigenous vegetables. Meet some of the women farmers that have benefited from training in grafting tomato and producing sweet potato seedlings.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bangla Bazar – Arlington, VA

Looking for Bangladeshi groceries, DVDs and household items in the Washington, DC area? Bideshi Golmaal recommends you stop by Bangla Bazar on Lee Highway.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Runaway (2013) – Directed by Amit Ashraf

Bangladeshi-American director Amit Ashraf's first feature-length film, 'Runaway,' is going to be screened at the 2013 DC South-Asia Film Festival next month and based on the trailer (above) I, for one, and excited. 'Runaway' is the story of men who try to flee their personal responsibilities (a la Run Rabbit Run) and the rickshawalla turned bounty hunter who finds them and brings them home.

Amit Ashraf studied dramatic writing and film production at the Tisch School of Arts in New York University, and collaborated on 'Runaway' with producer Sumon Arefin. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An ode on lungi

While the controversy over an order banning rickshaw wallahs from wearing lungi in Baridhara moves from street protests to intervention by the courts, Anika Hossain penned a beautiful defense of the simple garment for The Daily Star:

Let me tell you something about the lungi. It was and continues to be the most comfortable, convenient attire ever to be invented. Slip it on, tie and knot and you’re good to go. In this hot weather, it provides plenty of ventilation and wearing one is like walking around with your own personal air conditioner. It can be worn as a part of wedding attire or it can be put to good use as sleepwear. Men have worn it to work and play on a daily basis for centuries not only in Bangladesh, but many other countries in the sub-continent as well. It represents the essence of our culture, which is pure, colourful, festive, free and full of life.
Now let me tell you what a lungi is not. First and foremost, it is not a hypocrite. It has no double standards. It does not claim to be superior to other outfits, nor does it discriminate between class, race, gender, religion or ethnicity. A lungi is not arrogant, judgmental, destructive or disloyal. All it asks, is for its wearers to show it the same courtesy.