The Clay Bird
Dir. Tareque Masud
On DVD 04/16/10
Set against the backdrop of the turbulent period in the late 1960s leading up to Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan, The Clay Bird tells the story of a family torn apart by religion and war. Anu, a shy young boy from rural East Pakistan (Bangladesh, as it is now known) is sent away by his father Kazi, an orthodox Muslim, to a Madrasah - or Islamic- school. Far from his family and the warmth of his region's Hindu festivities, Anu struggles to adapt to the school's harsh monastic life.
As the political divisions in the country intensify, an increasing split develops between moderate and extremist forces within the Madrasah. Back in the village, these same tensions create a growing divide between the stubborn but confused Kazi and his increasingly independent wife, Ayesha.
Touching upon themes of religious tolerance, cultural diversity, and the complexity of Islam, The Clay Bird has universal relevance in a crisis-ridden world.
Tareque Masud was born in 1957 in Faridpur, Bangladesh and spent most of his childhood in a madrasa (Islamic seminary school). The Bangladesh war of independence from Pakistan in 1971 put an abrupt end to his religious studies. After the war he entered general education, eventually completing his masters in history from Dhaka University.
Masud was actively involved in the film society movement from his university days, and participated in numerous short courses and workshops on film in Bangladesh and abroad. He started his first film, a documentary on the Bangladeshi painter S.M. Sultan, in late 1982. Since then he has directed a number of short, documentary, and animation films. In 1989, he married American Catherine Masud (an American), and moved to New York to work with her on a 35mm documentary, Muktir Gaan (Song of Freedom). In 1995, he returned to Dhaka to continue his filmmaking career.
In 2002 his first feature film, The Clay Bird premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. He is a founding member of the Short Film Forum, the primary forum for alternative filmmakers in Bangladesh, and in 1988 served as Coordinator of the First International Short Film Festival held in Dhaka. He has also attended international film festivals and seminars in Europe, the US, and Asia and writes occasionally on film-related themes for periodicals and journals. He and Catherine Masud run a film production firm, Audiovision, based in Dhaka and the couple has produced numerous documentaries and shorts. The Clay Bird was their first feature film.
Directed by Tareque Masud Written by Tareque Masud
Produced by Catherine Masud Cinematography by Sudheer Palsane Edited by Catherine Masud Sound by Indrajit Neogi
Video interviews with the cast and crew of The Clay Bird.
The Making of The Clay Bird video documentary (30 mins.).
Three Songs from the Soundtrack.
The French and American theatrical trailers.
The theatrical press kit downloadable on DVD-Rom.