• Sunday, Jul 12, 2020
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‘It is time we have meaningful conversations about cultural appropriation’

  • Published at 05:17 pm May 29th, 2020
Ariq Anam Khan

Young actor and director Ariq Anam Khan played a pivotal role in location management, and organized the shooting of Netflix action drama Extraction in Bangladesh. In an interview with DhakaTribune Showtime, Khan talks about his work experience with the world’s top streaming giant

Can you tell us how you became involved with Extraction?

I was contacted by Indo-China Production back in 2014 and subsequently played a role in the production support of Avengers: Age of Ultron (Avengers 2) during the much talked about shooting of the exterior shipyard scene, held in Chittagong. 

It was a big learning experience for me. They also got what they had in mind. That’s how the relationship originally began. Afterwards we kept contact. 

My father (Bangladeshi veteran actor Tariq Anam Khan) was also involved with the process.

Ariq led the Bangladesh unit of Extraction, previously titled Dhaka Courtesy

Apart from location scouting, were you also involved with taking the aerial shots?

Yes. I was the location manager. 

Have you seen the film yet?

I have.

Did you like it?

I don’t personally go for action flicks. So there’s that. But people are right when they point out the inaccuracies prevalent in the film.

There were no Bangladeshi actors. Did you raise your concerns about the casting?

When they came to shoot here, 98% of the film was already done. Like I said, we did not know much. We tried to show Bangladesh in a positive light within our capability. We kept underscoring our allure as a tourist destination. If we had known about the casting, we could have tried to do something.

Shooting the Sadar Ghat scene in Dhaka Courtesy 

People reacted very strongly to the film. What do you think about that?

Was some of it overreaction? Did some of us get carried away? Sure. I mean, if you were one of those people who really looked forward to this film, it makes sense that you were disappointed after its release. So, I can’t be too hard on people who have been vocal in their dislike of the film. 

But then again, this is unfortunately nothing new with Hollywood. You look at their portrayal of Mexico, India or most countries for that matter. It’s the same story all over again. It is time we have meaningful conversations about cultural appropriation.

But I also understand that the film is pure fiction. Fiction at its most outlandish form. So, it would be better for us if we don’t get too riled up about it.

As we speak, Extraction is breaking all Netflix records.

Yes. On one hand, Netflix has had world wide appeal for a long time. On the other hand, coronavirus has also tremendously helped increase views. More people are watching than ever before under lockdown.

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