Thursday, 9 April 2009

BLACK LEAF STIILS

BLACK LEAF
a short film by Makbul Chowdhury


Synopsis ( short)

A seemingly quite tea plantation in the east of Bengal wakes up with a rage.
A fearless young tea worker intoxicated with the fumes of revenge.
Tranquillity returns with a cost.

Synopsis (long)

A seemingly quite tea plantation in the east of Bengal wakes up with an incident of murder. A fearless young tea worker intoxicated with the fumes of revenge. A tea garden officer rides his bike across the hills of the plantation. An apparent tension simmers. The tea garden remains tranquil until one sunny afternoon, it wakes up with a rage. Tranquillity returns but with a cost.


Director’s Commentary

I grew up in a tea-growing region in Bangladesh. My grandfather was a ‘Babu’ an officer in a British owned Tea Estate. My mother spent most of her childhood with her father as she lost her mother at an early age. When my grandfather passed away his cousin took his position. In 1977, a young tea worker killed this grandfather. I was only age ten at that time. I hared several versions of the story of this killing. He was brutally murdered and left in pieces in the bank of a small river covered with tea plants. The young man served a term in prison following his parents testimony as the main witness. Over the past years, I carried many questions relating to this death. Coincidentally, I also spent best part of my childhood living close to a tea garden and a tea worker community. The British brought these particular groups of people from some far region in India, when the start Tea venture in Bengal. I do not feel I have understood these people enough to solve the mystery behind my grandfather’s killing.

This short film, ‘ Black Leaf’ is my attempt in narrating a past killing in my own terms. Here, the officer and the worker, both are the protagonists. The force is hidden under the veil of seemingly solitary mediation like silence of the tea plantation, which turns young green leaves to black caffeine making our mornings bright.


Casts are from local tea worker community
at Dal Dali Tea Estate , Sylhet, Bangladesh.

Young Tea Worker: Buban Bhumiq, Estate Officer: Afjal Ahmed

Script, Photography, Editing, & Direction: Makbul Chowdhury
Music & Sound Design : John Das & Makbul Chowdhury
Flute : Kerri Lake, Drum : Jeremiah M Soto;
Direction Assistant: Abul Kashem Rumel,

Stills: Abul Kashem Rumel, Fokrul Islam, Aklas Uddin,
Production: Javed Ahmed.


Run time: 10 minutes, colour, shooting format : HDV.

Available in DVD, DV, HD, Beta SP

Producer: Salma Hussain

Kolakar Production
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Birmingham
B28 8NP
United Kingdom

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