South Asian Projects
A Journey Never Told-Sharmin Doza (Bangladesh)
Despite numerous challenges and setbacks with hearing impairment, Badruddoza, an ordinary man from a middle-class family, is able to provide a peaceful life for him and his family.
Many kids are not born with disabilities. Sometimes, some accidents or incidents can mark a lifelong scar on some. Badruddoza is one of them.
My father, Badruddoza, was born like any other normal child. He had a beautiful childhood with his parents. But it did not last long. He lost his mother when he was nine and his father at fourteen. He started school late because there was no school nearby. He was admitted to class eight at the age of ten, without any prior education. After starting school, he realized that he couldn’t hear properly whenever his teachers were instructing him.
Badruddoza is 75 years old now. Looking back, he sees how his hearing problem gradually started to hamper his regular life as he aged. He loved swimming. While he was swimming, water splashed into his ears. That time, he did not notice the difference until it actually infected his ears. It started to bother his regular life. He was having difficulties hearing in the classroom.
Many people struggle through life because of their physical impairment, but how many are accepted by so-called society’s normality? It is easier to abandon or look at them as a burden than to actually take care of them and make them a part of our society.
In spite of his hearing obstacles, he finished his studies and started to work as a dental doctor in Iraq. When his contract in Iraq expired, he moved to Saudi Arabia. After working there for a few years, he thought that his hearing was deteriorating and he might not be able to hear for long. So, he decided to leave his job and move back to his country to build a building on the land he bought earlier, so if he could no longer earn a living, his family would at least run with the rental money from that house. When he came back, another struggle started….
Traditionally, in films, the hero’s journey is shown in a successful heroic way. But in real life, the question remains outside the screen. Through Badruddoza’s story, we will connect with the ordinary life that brings us to reality. His trip to memory lane will take us to a journey where an ordinary person struggles throughout his life just to secure a little comfort.
Like many others, Badruddoza was born into a middle-class family from Bangladesh. His father was a respected teacher. So, life’s ethics were his main source of inspiration. He saw his family living with dignity and all he wanted was to pass that on to his next generation.
His hearing impairment was an obstacle that he learned throughout his life to tackle in every step of his life. I am his favourite daughter. I have a deeper connection with my father. He is my idol. He made me think of many fathers like him in our country and their immense contribution to a family. The experiences that he has gone through in the course of his life in Bangladesh and abroad are valuable to me.
What has society done for a father like mine? Is our medical system giving enough support to people who struggle with medical conditions like this?
Though Covid-19 hit hard in many people’s lives, it is amazing to see how my father is still standing strong as one of our pillars and moving forward with his peaceful life in this crowded, noisy world.
Not only as a father, but also as a person his life is very interesting to me. That’s why I have been following him for the last few years, recording a lot of audio and videos of his life events and his silence. How an ordinary person has an extraordinary story that can be an example to many is what I want to capture. He is a true hero with his extraordinary power. Despite his limitations, he did not give up on his peace. He takes care of his plants the same way he takes care of us.
Dr A. S. M. Badruddoza was born in Laxmipur, in 1946, one of the villages in Bangladesh. He completed his education with the help of his elder brother after his father’s death. At first, he graduated from Agricultural College. Then he changed his mind and shifted to Dhaka Dental College. After studying at dental college, he started applying for jobs in various places, and he finally got a job in Iraq in the late 70s. He moved to Iraq and then Saudi Arabia.
When he came back to his country, the journey was more difficult. Since there is no income, if he withdraws money from the bank and spends his daily expenses, there will be no money to build a house. After completing his house, he retired.
He started to find new hobbies, such as planting trees on the roof. When he wants to talk, he takes the hearing aid and wears it and takes it off to avoid unnecessary noise. He reads daily newspapers, watches games on TV, and watches some dramas that have subtitles.
I want to explore his life and the struggles he has been through. I wish to find out some stories which he might have never shared with anyone. How was he portrayed in a society where people looked at him differently, where relatives almost mistreated him? He will take me through his memory lane and how he found peace throughout his life and spread his strength among others.
His old photograph will be used. The socio-economic reality of the village of his childhood (the forties) will come through his memoirs. His post-liberation memories will come up with his youth in his storytelling. Memories of Iran-Iraq while in Iraq will also come up.
The family chat with his wife and children will bring up various issues in his life, various things from the old days. He will be taken to the house of his relatives and friends so that we can hear his childhood memories. He will be taken to his village, to meet his childhood friends, to hear the story of his childhood from their perspectives.
Various footage from different countries will be collected and will be shown with the memoirs and they will be arranged in moderation.
After finishing my Master’s in Media and Journalism from ULAB, I am working as a Filmmaker, Video Editor, Sound recordist, and Video Editing course instructor at the National Institute of Mass Communication. As a Director, my titles include the documentary film “Architecture and Environment in Dhaka City (25 min)”, the short films “Noishobdo”, “Kaler Kheya” and “Free Will”.
I also worked as a location sound recordist for the documentary “Hasina a Daughter Tale”, short films “Pap”, “Joya”. Feature film “Sattao”.
International production “Sesame Street (NYC) Project”, “Borderlands BD” for Singapore TV.
Currently, I am working at Cine Craft as an editor and a sound recordist.
Production Plan :
Pre-Production: September 2021 – March 2022
Production: May 2022 – July 2023
Post-production : August 2023 – March 2024
Distribution and Outreach : May 2024 – December 2024
I aim to apply to different labs and pre-sale markets by the end of 2021, so I can start filming by 2022. Meanwhile, I will do more in-depth research to find out about my character through archives and photographs. Once I start filming, I aim to review the footage and keep applying for international and national funds for post-production.
Budget : 30,000 USD
Early Development stage