DVD cover of Swapnabhumi

( cover image UNHCR-GMB Akash; design Catalin Dantis)
Swapnabhumi: The Promised Land ( Documentary, 90mins)

This is a story of six decades, three countries and statelessness. A story about the urdu-speaking community of Bangladesh.

The terms “urdu-speakers” and the more loaded “biharis” are used to refer to muslim people who originally emigrated from India to the newly created East Pakistan in 1947 and afterwards.

Many of them, but by no means all, originated from the state of Bihar and were fleeing large scale communal massacres.

Three decades later, during the struggle for independence in Bangladesh in 1971, this community became embroiled in conflict. Isolated as collaborators against Bangladeshi independence, this moment was a defining one for the urdu-speakers and has had a devastating legacy.

This is a story abou the 160,000 people from this community who live isolated in 116 “camps” or “settlements” in Bangladesh.

Script & Direction Tanvir Mokammel; Co-Producer and Researcher Shafiur Rahman; Editing Mahadeb Shi; Cinematography Anwar Hossain; Background Music Syed Shabab Ali Arzoo; Sound Mashrur Rahman; Assistant Directors Uttam Guha & Sarwar Tamijuddin; Commentary Chittralekha Guha; Assistants Research Khalid Hossain & Mohammad Hasan; Produced by Kino-Eye Films.