Sunday, June 29, 2008

Treasures from Brick Lane

Among the treasures I brought back from an excursion to London's Brick Lane – a street full of Bengali/Bangladeshi restaurants and stores – were six Bangladeshi films on DVD and Monica Ali's 2003 novel Brick Lane (now also a movie).

For several years now I've mostly picked books to read that were about a matter I wanted to read about – an interesting biography, personal fate, specific geographical or historical setting.

Brick Lane fits all four categories, is beautifully written and has a deeply human story to tell. I might write about it again once I've made more progress.

Dollhouse by director Morshedul Islam is set in 1971, when Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) was fighting for independence from Pakistan. Rehana, a young woman from Dhaka, comes to the village to seek refuge from the war-ravaged capital city. Essentially a happy, bubbly girl, she displays strange reversals of mood. The film gradually reveals her secret in a series of flashbacks.

A beautifully photographed film that stems from a time zone so different from our hectic one. A domain in which it is possible to feel the significance of every moment, the flow of time. I wish I knew Bengali to fully appreciate this soft-spoken gem of cinema.

1 comment:

the teach said...

I just ordered the film Brick Lane from Netflicks. I own the novel and haven't gotten to it yet. Thanks for commenting on my Take 7 Project Black. Your pic didn't come up on your post. It could be my browser - I'll check again. :)