Afrin – live by the river. And like all riverside people, he is full of experience of both Brahmaputra’s love and wrath. A motherless 12-year-old girl has to deal with floods, which are a major reality in riverine Bangladesh. Along comes a quest to find his homeless father, which draws him to the capital city. These floods and urban realities turn Little Afrin into ‘Mighty Afrin’.
For the people of Bengal, another name for the river is life. This river floats in the joy of our happiness and takes everything away and sinks into the abyss. For hundreds of thousands of years, the people of this region have mastered the survival strategy of subsisting on rivers. But recently, due to climate change, the people of this riverine region are facing new problems. As a result, like Afrin, everyone has to become something bigger than themselves.
The documentary ‘Mighty Afrin—in the time of flood’ is about Bengal’s rivers, climate change, village stories and struggles. Created by Greek filmmaker Angelos Ralis. The documentary is being screened at the 22nd Dhaka Film Festival. The first screening of the documentary was held yesterday (January 24) at Alliance Française in Dhaka. The second exhibition is being held today at 5 pm at the National Museum Auditorium.
12-year-old Afrin lives in a small house on the banks of the Brahmaputra river. He lost his mother when he was young. And the father left Afrin alone. Afrin’s companions are only the Brahmaputra river, clay, and water. As the house is near the bank of the river, his house sinks during the monsoon season. Along with the water, his misery also increased. However, Afrin is not one to give up. In the flood water, survival strategies are adopted. The water comes up from the yard to the shed of the house.
Afrin makes up her mind—she will find her father. He left for Dhaka for that purpose. A new struggle begins. Friends from Dhaka joined this journey. As in life on the riverside, he has to be cunning here too. Don’t give up the struggle. That struggle teaches little Afrin to think like an adult. Unknowingly he surpasses his age.
The documentary has already won awards at several international film festivals. Asia’s renowned film festival is screened at the International Film Festival India. It won the Best Environmental Film Award at the Film Festival organized by the World Food Forum. Apart from this, ‘Mighty Afrin- In the Time of Flood’ is in the list of the best 20 films in the survey of Indie Outlook.com.
The maker of the documentary said that he came to know about the flood in Bangladesh through newspapers. It was written there – the people along the river Brahmaputra have to fight with the water for six months a year. On the other hand, when there is a flood in Greece, everyone leaves their homes and moves to other places. This makes him interested in working with Bangladesh. After that, the producer of the documentary came to Bangladesh with Maria del Mar.
Angelos Ralis said that the shooting of this documentary took place in an area near the border of Assam and Bangladesh. The director sees Afrin preparing for the flood alone. People in this area do not receive any signal for flood warning. By looking at the height of the water, you can understand the advance signal of the flood. You have to prepare. However, due to lack of electricity, this work becomes very difficult. Ralis decided to capture this story on camera.
Ralis returned to Bangladesh with his camera within two weeks. Come and go to his destination. The floodwaters are coming, the preparations are going on – at such a time, Afrin is seen as a guide. The director said, a kind of power in Afrin attracted him. But it is not physical strength, but mental. After that, Rallis shot this documentary during the floods for 5 consecutive years.
Director Ralis said, he has shot in different countries of the world at different times. This time was difficult. Climate change is making life in the region more difficult. Bangladesh is one of the first seven countries in the world due to climate change. The situation will worsen if urgent action is not taken in the coming days. The developed countries of the world should come forward to help these people.
The director wants to show the movie ‘Mighty Afrin – In the Time of Flood’ in Bangladesh. Apart from this, he wants to show it where the shooting took place. The documentary will be shown on several television stations in Germany, France and Greece. Millions of people will get to see it there. Director Angelos Ralis expressed the hope that the people of the world will be more aware of Bangladesh’s climate change beyond entertainment.