Clay Bird, The

Tareque Masud
A visually stunning, culturally fascinating, politically timely film based on the director’s own childhood, THE CLAY BIRD has been called one of the most important works to come out of the Muslim world. Set against the backdrop of Pakistan during the turbulent 1960s, a family is ripped apart by religious beliefs and civil war. Anu, a shy young boy from rural East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), is sent away by his father Kazi, an orthodox Muslim, to a Madrasah. Far from his family and the warmth of his region’s vibrant Hindu festivities, Anu struggles to adapt to the Islamic school’s harsh monastic life. As political divisions in the country intensify, a split develops between moderate and extremist forces within the Madrasah. In the village, these same tensions create a growing divide between the stubborn Kazi and his increasingly independent wife, Ayesha. THE CLAY BIRD is an authentic and loving portrait of Bangladesh, showing the country in all its color and complexity – its seasonal beauty, rich folkloric traditions, extraordinary music, and pluralistic culture. Touching upon themes of religious tolerance, cultural diversity, and the complexity of Islam, Tareque Masud’s poignant film has a universal relevance in a crisis-ridden world – THE CLAY BIRD should not be missed .

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