Cannes Film Festival: A look at the historic Bangladeshi film 'Rehana Maryam Noor'

Written By: Pragati Awasthi | Updated: Jul 09, 2021, 07:27 PM IST

A new Bangladeshi film 'Rehana Maryam Noor' was screened at the 74th Cannes International Film Festival. Thee movie which, highlights sexual assault and dangers for women in Bangladesh received standing ovation at the premiere at the festival. 

The movie has created immense buzz in the festival as it is for the first time that a film from Bangladesh has been selected in the 'Un Certian Regrad' section. 


A first for Bangladeshi cinema 

A proud moment for all the Bangladeshis. 'Rehana Maryam Noor'- a 1-hour, 47-minute long film is the first Bangladeshi feature to be officially screened at the Cannes Film Festival. 


Cannes standing ovation

'Rehana Maryam Noor' has been directed by Bangladeshi director Abdullah Mohammad Saad. The film made history after it was screened at the 74th Cannes Film Festival's prestigious 'Un Certain Regard' section, and received a standing ovation during its screening.

The premiere had the film's director, lead actress Azmeri Haque Badhan, Singaporean producer Jeremy Chua and the rest of the crew in attendance. 


What is it about

'Rehana Maryam Noor' revolves around Rehana, an assistant professor at a local medical college, who finds herself in a difficult position after witnessing a sexual assault where she knows both the victim and the perpetrator.


The director's words

The director of the movie Abdullah Mohammad Saad got candid in an interview at Cannes.

When asked about what inspired him to begin work on this film, Saad replied, ''I was actually working on a different project, when I realised that I couldn't possibly understand the reality of my central character as much as I would have liked. Rehana, on the other hand, felt much more familiar to me and had been on my mind for some years. I grew up in a big family with three older sisters, who had a profound influence on me. I suppose my deep-rooted connection to Rehana made me decide to go back to her. ''


A little history

In 2002, renowned Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud's feature Matir Moina (The Clay Bird) was screened at Cannes' parallel festival, Director's Fortnight. Tareque's movie also won an award from the International Federation of Film Critics. 

Since then, no feature film from Bangladesh has been screened at either festivals until this year.