DREAMERS DON’T USE A FULL STOP
Director:Tahrima Khan, Bangladesh
One was born in an untouchable community; another was victim of child-marriage. But their will spirit changed their born-fate turned them dreamers who don’t have full stop in their dictionary.
If you are born in a Dalit community, you will probably take the first sweeping job you come across and will continue that for the rest of your life. In the day time, you will spend hours after hours in the dark, shady, dirty toilets and sleep with twelve family members in a 10 feet room in the night. If you are a woman in that community then abuse, negligence and a little bit of beating from your drunken, frustrated husband will be part of your daily life. You will occupy your soul with these sufferings so profoundly that you will probably forget to pass any dream to your kids. In contrast, if you are lucky to born in a respected Muslim family, given a chance to get primary
education, but you want to become a sportsperson! Nope, that will not fit in the middle-class Muslim family narrative. Sonu Rani Das (30) is borne in a Dalit community and Kamrunnahar Munni (34) wanted to be a sportsperson. Both of their stories were supposed to be an insignificant one. But these two iron ladies are in the dreamer’s category. They don’t have full stops in their dreams and don’t define by their born narrative. Sonu became the first graduate from the untouchable community, and Munni became the coach of a women football team. By portraying the life of these two ladies, we will not try to tell the route to their success, instead, how they avoided failures through their constant determination and inner energy. For the real woman empowerment, this is the new myth that needs to address to the millions of woman who possibly put a full stop and accepts the life that is given to them.
I know both of the characters in my documentary for a long time. Both of them had early marriage (Munni at 17 and Sonu at 19), but their child marriage didn’t stop them to walk forward. Munni is from the place where I was born. From her childhood she wanted to be a footballer. In 90’s Bangladesh it’s not only an impossible dream for a daughter from a middle class semi-urban family; it’s a sin. In contrary, I know Sonu since 2008 from the Global Xchange program and we went to UK together. Despite their early marriage they didn’t stop pursuing their dream. Women empowerment depends as much from the external force as it happens from a person’s internal energy. Munni and Sonu’s journey was completed due to their inner energy, which needed the most for any voiceless person. This documentary is a portrayal of an individual’s inner strength and the prevention of failure.
Tahrima Khan is a public health graduate from Tsinghua University in China. Her jobs in the development sector have given her an intensive understanding of the problem that happens during implementing a development goal. Her directed first documentary ‘Colour of water’ was funded by the British-council and was made under the International Climate Champion (ICC) program. She has also worked in several documentaries on the indigenous community of Bangladesh in the Chittagong Hill Tracks area. She has partnered in many fiction projects with Bangladeshi filmmaker Abu Shahed Emon. ‘Dreamers don’t use a full stop’ is her first feature documentary and Abu Shahed Emon is producing the documentary.
We are currently in the pre-production phase and completed the primary research. I know both the character for a very long time. But I don’t know the extended family or the societal setting they grew in. So, after the Corona Virus epidemic is over, we will start shooting other visual materials and complete the pre-production phase. Between October 2020 to March 2021 we will complete our principle photography. We will follow the journey of the both character for a long period of time and give the sense of seasons and time passing as we shoot. Continual editing will be done while the shoot is on! But still dedicated edit we will do after the principal photography is over in April 2021. I think we will be done with the edit and other post work by the end of 2021 and ready for delivering the project in early 2022. We will raise finances for the project as we shoot phase by phase. This is an observational documentary and will require a long commitment to the character over the year. We will apply to the other funds as we progress the shoot and edit.
The production is now in the pre-production stage. Also, the background research has been completed. Several times have been discussed with them the whole process and based on their consent the documentary plan has been developed. Though, it was plan to visit their places for more details research on their family and environment. But, due to Corona pandemic it was not possible. But, the desk review has been done and a background already prepared based on the desk review.
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