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Dhaka Tribune

Ruba Ahmed on the release of ‘Faraaz’: That film should not reach Bangladesh

'Do you realize how painful would it be to the family members of those who lost their lives in the incident?'

Update : 20 Jan 2023, 07:40 PM

Ruba Ahmed, Abinta Kabir's mother held a press conference on January 19 at Abinta Kabir Foundation premises to discuss the release of “Faraaz,”a Hindi film based on the 2016 terrorist attack in Dhaka. Abinta Kabir was one of the 20 victims who lost their lives in the terrorist shootout at Holey Artisan Bakery.

While starting the session the organization clarified that the press conference was not being held by Abinta Kabir Foundation but by Abinta's family. 

Abinta Kabir's mother Ruba Ahmed, who is also the General Secretary of the Abinta Kabir Foundation, agonized over the making and release of Hansal Mehta's thriller “Faraaz” during the press conference. 

 “When we first came to know that Mahesh Bhatt plans to make a film on the incident in 2019, we sent him a letter. He replied that he respects my decision and he will not progress with the film,” said Ruba. “But suddenly, the poster of ‘Faraaz' was revealed.”

Ruba Ahmed and Tarishi's (another victim of the terrorist attack) family together sent a legal notice to Delhi High Court, right after the poster of the film was released. 

Ruba Ahmed said: “A handful of terrorist events have taken place in India between 2016 and 2023. Why can't they just make movies based on the events took place in India?”

Ruba Ahmed appeared tormented during the press conference and repeatedly pleaded for the restriction of the film in Bangladesh, claiming that the film could damage the reputation of the country. 

“I asked Hansal Mehta how could he even know Bangladeshi people and portray an incident that did not take place in his country. He replied that I was being disrespectful.” said the General Secretary of Abinta Kabir Foundation. 

Abinta Kabir's mother also raised questions about the portrayal of different characters as the film's title pays tribute to Faraaz Ayaz Hossain, another victim who lost his life in the same incident.

“Even the survivors could not think of anything but saving their lives during the horror,” said Ruba Ahmed in agony. “Then how could they portray one of the victims as a hero?”

The makers of “Faraaz” never reached out to families of most of the victims nor asked for their consents. 

“The filmmakers never did ask for our consent. They said the film does not resemble any of the real characters. But the film directly portrays the characters of some of the victims and their family members with changed names,” said Ruba Ahmed. “The film portrays Abinta as Ayesha, Tarishi as Tari, and me as Rabeya.”

Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki's “Saturday Afternoon” is another film that explores the 2016 terrorist attack. The film is stuck at Bangladesh Film Censor Board since 2019. When asked about the film, Ruba Ahmed told that she does not have anything to say regarding the film as it is being monitored by the legislature. 

Ruba Ahmed repeatedly claimed that the film “Faraaz” could violate the privacy of herself and her daughter. She asked the authority to stop the release of the film in Bangladesh and OTT platforms. 

She said: “Do you realize how painful would it be to the family members of those who lost their lives in the incident? I certainly cannot stop the release of the film but that film should not at least reach Bangladesh. I cannot see them monetize over an incident that took my daughter from me.”

“Faraaz” is slated to hit theatres in India on February 3. The trailer of the film was released on January 16.

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