A feature film based on director Tareque Masud’s own childhood, set in rural East Pakistan during the turbulent years leading up to Bangladesh’s independence in 1971. A young boy, Anu, is sent off to a strict Islamic school, or madras, by his deeply religious father Kazi. Far from his family and the festive pagan culture of his village, Anu struggles to adapt to the school’s harsh monastic life. As the political divisions in the country intensify, an increasing split develops between moderate and extremist forces within the madrasa, mirroring a growing divide between the stubborn but confused Kazi and his increasingly independent wife.
Touching upon themes of religious tolerance, cultural diversity and the complexity of Islam, "Matir Moina" has universal relevance in a strife-ridden world. Originally banned in its home country, the film won the Critics’ Prize at Cannes in 2002 and became Bangladesh's first-ever entry to the Oscars. It is presented in celebration of producer, co-writer and editor Catherine Masud’s Copeland Fellowship this semester at Amherst College.
The film is presented by the 2012-13 Copeland Colloquium, "Art in Place / the Place of Art," a collaboration among the Departments of Music, Theater and Dance and Art and the History of Art, the Frost Library and the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. Support has been provided by the Copeland Colloquium Fund, the Amherst Arts Series Fund and the Dean of the Faculty.