Rubaiyat Hossain’s 2nd feature film about a woman struggling to find herself in the sprawl of urban Bangladesh
“This renowned young film director was honoured by the Musée Guimet (The Guimet Museum) in Paris for showcasing her film ‘Under Construction’. Musée Guimet honours the great discoverer of Asian cultures and every year they award Prix Emile Guimet to the director of a film which, besides its cinematic qualities, brings a remarkable cultural perspective on Asia. This year the award was given to Rubaiyat Hossain’s ‘Under Construction’ at the festival international des cinémas d’Asie de Vesoul. Established in 1879, the Guimet Museum has one of the largest collections of Asian art outside Asia.”
“Under Construction is delicate, dynamic, in less than 90 minutes perfectly balances every branch of its tale, highlights the line between reality and unreality with never annoying quick stereotypes, always bound to their director’s vision. Her touch is everywhere and the film is suitable for multiple views, maybe enough to see the sky of Dacca stripped of its long cranes.”
“In Rubaiyat Hossain’s Under Construction, we see an examination of the theme of under construction as it applies to the city of Dhaka, as well as the gendered bodies of men and women.”
Awrup Sanyal / Dhaka Tribune
Bangladeshi movie ‘Under Construction’ reinterprets Tagore for today’s times: Director Rubaiyat Hossain relocates the play ‘Red Oleanders’ to the ready made garment industry.
“We rarely get films from Bangladesh, much less directed by a woman, much less with a secular feminist sensibility. Hossain’s Under Construction is all of these. It’s the story of a stage actress in her thirties unhappy in marriage and also with the roles she is assigned to play in the theatre. Her private dissatisfactions are set against Bangladash’s far more dire public ills: exploited factory workers, boiling-over Islamic fundamentalism. Hossain makes the daring decision — many would say, blasphemous — to allow the female protagonist to have an adulterous affair and get away with it. In fact, she does not feel guilty at all when she returns to her smug businessman husband.”
Under Construction wins 3 awards at the Festival International des Cinemas d’Asie de Vesoul:
(1) Prix du Jury International (International Jury Award),
(2) Prix Emile Guimet (Emile Guimet Award) and cash award given by the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts, Paris, and
(3) Mentions spéciales de la critique (Special Mention Critic Award)
Best Emerging Director Award at AAIFF 2016, New York
Best Audience Award and the Special Mention Award at Dhaka International Film Festival 2016. It was also the opening film of the festival.
Golden Durian Prize for best feature at Salamindanaw Asian Film Festival.
- Festival Internacional de Cine Bajo La luna, Spain (Huelva)
- Fusagasuga International Film Festival, Colombia
- Salento International Film Festival, Italy (Lecce)
- Split – IFF for New Cinema, Croatia (Split)
- Jameson CineFest – Miskolc IFF, Hungary
- Vladivostok IFF – Pacific Meridian, Russia (Vladivostok)
- Women Makes Wave Film Festival, Taiwan (Taipei)
director of photography Martina RADWAN editing & sound design Sujan MAHMUD music Shayan Chowdhury ARNOB production design Rubaiyat HOSSAIN
produced by Khoan Talkies
Struggling to find herself in the sprawl of urban Bangladesh, Muslim theater actress Roya suffers from her husband’s wish for children and traditional life. Not interested in motherhood, she decides to reconstruct a famous and politically minded play for modern times, reclaiming her identity, her freedom and her sexuality in the process. — Locarno Film Festival
In claiming her body-mind-soul how does a woman’s introspective journey gets entangled with the battle on the outside in a world of post-colonial reality where political violence, religious extremism, sweatshop labors, and impunity largely paint the terrain?
‘Womanhood’ authored by patriarchy sustains a power-pleasure-desire lattice by generating, sustaining and reproducing cultural myths about female sexuality. ‘Womanhood’ authored by women, female sexuality comprehended and utilized for the purpose of woman’s subject formation is still largely a process ‘under construction.’
In ‘Under Construction,’ a woman who has not yet been born into subjectivity seeks to unsettle the iconic image of the archetypical Bengali woman—‘Nandini,’ the ultimate depiction of feminine spirit represented as the heroine of Rabindranath Tagore’s last play ‘Rakta Karabi’ or ‘The Red Oleanders.’
NEWS & REVIEW
montreal157: FFM : En voie de construction
The Statesman features Under Construction: