Film: 4742

Politics | 1970 | Sound | B/W


A news report of the chaos after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.

Helicopter lands in Bangladesh. People greet the Prime Minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh. He greets people whilst sitting in the helicopter. He comes out. Close up of him. More Cheers from the crowd. People treating him as "messiah". More rallying. Crowd. The leader speaks to the crowd from the platform.

A man holds a sack of grain. Focus on Bengali writing. A man asks for food. Close up shot of writings in Bengali and English on the camp where Biharis are kept. They were once civil servants and partners of the ruling government. Now dependent on aid for foreign nations, particularly from GB, USA and Canada. A member of Mukti Bahini, the Bengali nationalist Freedom Fighters, writes whilst sitting. A close up of a freedom fighter and his gun. People marching with a large banner. More protest. More demonstration led by nationalists. The Indian Army shoots in the air as they are here to discipline the civilians. Demonstrators run when they hear shooting. Soldiers shoot more. An injured person carried. He is carried by a civilian and a nurse.

A soldier salutes a superior officer. Once the Indian Army leaves after the lndependence, former East Pakistan soldiers become the new army. The officer goes in a room. Soldiers are training to form an army from a militia. They hold their guns high. More training. They practice in the marshes. They lie on the ground. They aim to shoot. Soldiers jogging on an informal outfit.

Crowd gathers. A leader of the Freedom Fighters speaks to the the crowd with a megaphone in his hand, arguing that marxism is the solution. Students sitting on the grass with enthusiasm. A political meeting. Focus is on individual faces, close up of the speaker. Close up of a Bengali nationalist student who is being interviewed. He argues for socialism.

Group of Bihari Women. Bihari people in and out of tents. The war of independence displaced them from their homes. Refugees are widespread. Individuals carry their belongings. Dozens of lined up tents. People queueing for food. They are queuing with everything they have. Hanging clothes, pots and pans on the floor, tents beside. A women with a child. Starvation is everywhere. A man pumping the well. Water is scarce. Fight erupts between two men. A woman and a child look vulnerable. Close up of middle aged woman.

The army forces Biharis to find weapons. If found Biharis get blamed. Soldiers collect guns from them. ''They are blamed for all the problems in Bangladesh.'' Gathering of more guns after thorough search. Crowd of people. Focus from a large mega phone to the tents, and then to the crowd. Images of vulnerable children, men and women. A woman dressing a child. A man looking around. a close up of a weak old man. A close up of a vulnerable child and a mother. More Bihari refugees. Crowd looking at the camera. Focus on document held by a person, the immigration officer. Document signed by him. Some crowd on top of a truck. Truck drives away. Another truck passes by. Then another truck and a coach. The displaced Biharis are taken for placement in a new life.

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