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Liberation War in global films, music

  • Published at 08:26 pm December 15th, 2018
Surrender of Pakistan
Pakistani Commander Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi surrenders to Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, the commander of the Joint Forces, at the Ramna Race Course

Till today, the Liberation War has been in the centre of attention in both national and international media.

Today, Bangladesh celebrates the 47th anniversary of victory in the Liberation War. The 1971 Liberation War is one of the significant and phenomenal events in 20th century. Many wars were fought afterwards in many countries, and Bangladesh’s war for freedom was an inspiration for those countries to acquire independence. 

Till today, the Liberation War has been in the centre of attention in both national and international media. It has been depicted in various mediums both home and abroad; many films and songs have highlighted this war. 

International films

Besides Bangladesh, the Liberation War has been depicted through cinematic language in many films. 

‘Children of War’: Hindi drama film “Children of War,”directed by Mrityunjay Devrat, portrays the effects of rape and religion on the war, based on the real events of 1971. Focusing on the genocide, as the film progresses towards its climax, the three stories of the film begin to intertwine with one another.

‘Dateline Bangladesh’: Gita Mehta, an internationally acclaimed writer and activist, was on assignment in Bangladesh during the war. From her experience, she made a powerful documentary, titled “Dateline Bangladesh.”

‘Shongram’: Directed by Munsur Ali, hindi film “Shongram” is a romantic drama set against the backdrop of the Liberation War.

In the film, a brave English reporter speaks to an old freedom fighter, who reveals his past and involvement during the war. 

‘Mukti’: Written and directed by Manu Chobe, “Mukti” is a short film which gives us an insight into what happened in the meeting between General Jacob and General Niazi that changed the world forever. 

The short film also highlights the first and only public surrender in the history of the world.

Music

Musicians have always been outspoken about any national or international issues around the world. During the Liberation War, world famous rock stars expressed their solidarity, and supported the birth of a new nation through their music. 

‘The Concert for Bangladesh, New York, 1971’: Charity concert “The Concert for Bangladesh” was held at 2:30pm and 8pm on August 1, 1971 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison and Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar organized the charity concert 

The two benefit concerts were organized by former Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison and Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar to raise money for the refugees who fled a bloody war raging in a newly born Bangladesh. The concert also drew international attention on a massive scale towards the genocide that was going on in Bangladesh. 

In 1972, a documentary film on the concert was released in cinemas. A live album was also published afterwards. 

‘Bangladesh’ by George Harrison: The Beatles star also composed a song, titled “Bangladesh Song,” which was later featured in his fourth studio album “Living in the Material World.” Billboard magazine described the song as "a musical appeal to help our fellow-man" that "should find immediate and heavy chart action."

Over the years, the song has become a symbol of charity whenever there is any crisis in the world. 

‘The story of Bangladesh’ by Joan Baez: American singer Joan Baez wrote and sang “The Story of Bangladesh” in 1972. Her song was based on the Pakistani army crackdown on unarmed sleeping Bangali students in Dhaka University on March 25, 1971, which was the onset of the nine-month Liberation War.

The song was later called "The Song of Bangladesh," and released in her 1972 album “Come from the Shadows” from Chandos Music.