Documentary film making is a powerful medium and it is important that documentary makers continue to use the medium to talk about social issues, push their agendas and more.
One such dedicated documentary maker is Niranjan Dey from Sylhet. He realised that the legacy of musicians, poets and mystics, social reformers, myths and legends should be passed on to the next generation through a visual medium. He preferred documentary films to other alternative mediums and has so far been successful in his endeavours.
He has directed and produced a number of documentaries. A few years ago he made a series of three documentaries on Baul Samrat Shah Abdul Karim, folk singer Pandit Ramkanai Das and social worker Suhasini Das.
Kemoney Chinibo Tomare is the documentary on Shah Abdul Karim. The documentary, filmed in 1993 at the residence of Abdul Karim in Derai of Sunamganj, highlights different aspects of late Karim’s life. The film articulates Abdul Karim’s political, social and religious views as well as zooms in on the then surroundings of his village.
On the other hand, the documentary on Pandit Ramkanai Das is titled, ‘Shurer Pothik’. Apart from being an accomplished folk singer, Pandit Das was a reputed classical singer as well. He became interested in classical music after listening to Kazi Nazrul Islam’s raga- based songs on the radio.
The documentary film titled ‘Nivritocharini’ is based on the activist and social worker Suhashini Das. Suhashini Das
was a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi and took part in the historic
Noakhali March of Mahatma Gandhi.
Niranjan Dey’s latest documentary is titled ‘Punya Salil Sokashe’ (The Flowing Sanctity) which features the cultural diversity and socio-religious harmony of the people of Bangladesh. The documentary revolves around Pana Teertha, a holy place situated in the northeastern part of Bangladesh in Tahirpur Upazilla of Sunamganj district. In the Bengali month of Chaitra (March-April), a religious festival called Baruni Snan takes place at Pana Teertha, where lived and preached a popular Sufi saint Pir Shah Arefin. Every year, when Baruni Snan of the Hindus takes place there, Muslims, too, gather for a religious event called Urs in remembrance of Pir Shah Arefin. Thousands of people from both religions gather here at the same time and participate in both the events that reflect the harmonious bond between the two communities.
The other significant documentaries produced and directed by Dey include Amar Bangladesh-Sylhet, Step towards Change, Mukto Batayana, Prantike Progotir Chuya and Nisarger Janalay, which is based on the history, culture, heritage and beautiful places of Sylhet.
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