• Sunday, Aug 25, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:03 pm

Garden of Memories: A look in the entrapped tea garden worker archetype

  • Published at 05:26 pm April 19th, 2019
Goethe-Institut screening of 'Bagania- Garden of Memories'
Documentary film-maker Humaira Bilkis addressing the people, who came to watch her film 'Bagania: Garden of Memories' at Goethe Institut Bangladesh auditorium on Thursday | Courtesy

This was the fourth edition of the popular film screening and discussion series 'Through Her Eyes.' The series provides a space in which to watch and discuss films with women filmmakers of Bangladesh, and is organized by Goethe-Institut, in cooperation with the International Film Initiative of Bangladesh (IFIB)

A screening of the film titled “Bagania: Garden of Memories” was held on Thursday evening, followed by a lively question-answer session at Goethe-Institut Bangladesh’s auditorium.

In a brief introductory note, Director of Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, Dr Kirsten Hackenbroch, welcomed the audience and introduced the film’s director, Humaira Bilkis.

This was the fourth edition of the popular film screening and discussion series “Through Her Eyes.” The series provides a space in which to watch and discuss films with women filmmakers of Bangladesh, and is organized by Goethe-Institut, in cooperation with the International Film Initiative of Bangladesh (IFIB).

“Garden of Memories” is the story about a tea community’s mundane life, where the old chieftain, Padmoluv, awaits his death and remembers his past, controlled by colonial masters. Young worker Sojoy feels trapped but continues with the grind; meanwhile, school dropout Chandan wants to elude exploitation. 

Every plant in the garden is a mute witness to the unsaid stories of their lives. In death, struggle, and escape, these characters become archetypes of the entrapped tea garden worker in Bangladesh.

The film’s director, Humaira Bilkis, is a documentary filmmaker based in Dhaka.  She was trained in creative documentary filmmaking at Sri Aurobindo Center for Arts and Communication, Delhi. Her student films have been screened internationally.

Bilkis recently completed “Garden of Memories” and the film is based on her long-term relationship with the migrated tea plantation workers of north-east Bangladesh. Currently, Bilkis is working on her documentary "Bilkis and Bilkis,” based on her relationship with her mother in the changing context of Bangladeshi society. 

“Through Her Eyes” gives film enthusiasts, film students, academics, film professionals, funding agencies, broadcasters, rights groups, and journalists a regular opportunity to watch films by women filmmakers currently working in Bangladesh; and to interact with them directly at the end of the screening.