US filmmaker Levin starring in  `Ekti Desher Jonno Gaan` ...

Dhaka, Friday   27 November 2020

US filmmaker Levin starring in  `Ekti Desher Jonno Gaan` 

 Tofazzal Liton, USA

 Published: 01:38 PM, 26 October 2020  

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Renowned American film-maker Lear Levin, a great friend of Bangladesh's liberation war, has been starring in the documentary 'Ekti Desher Jonno Gaan' (Song for a Country) based on the 'Concert for Bangladesh'. 

The documentary is being produced by writer and journalist Shamim Al Amin. 

Shamim has formed an organisation named Friends of Freedomin New York to highlight the thoughts of the foreign friends who helped in various ways in the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 and work with them. 

'Ekti Desher Jonno Gaan' is being made under  that organization.

Shamim Al Amin said that the work of making the documentary has come a long way, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the making process has been hampered in many ways. Even then, on the 50th anniversary of independence, there are plans to complete the production of the documentary in 2021. 

He said the participation of many has made the documentary much more objective and lively. In particular, he mentions the participation of personalities like Lear Levin as an important addition.

Film director and photographer Lear Levin rushed to Bangladesh after the devastating cyclone of 1970. He made a documentary about cyclone-affected people; which played a special role in raising funds to help the victims. 

Then in 1971, during the liberation war, he came back to this country after eing informed about the brutal torture of the Pakistani military. Lear Levin took pictures of various refugee camps and war fronts from West Bengal for about two months.

The members of Bangladesh Mukti Sangrami Shilpi Sangstha during the War of Liberation inspired millions with sonorous voice, raising funds for the refugee camps and boosting the morale of Freedom Fighters. At that time Levin joined with them while used to travel with them by truck.

He later made a 72-minute documentary called 'Joy Bangla'. However, the film was abandoned as no sponsor was found. After more than two decades, film director Tareque Masud and his wife Catherine Masud contacted Lear Levin to collect the footages. By those footages they made a feature length documentary film on the Liberation War of Bangladesh named Muktir Gaan. 

On March 27, 2013, the Government of Bangladesh honored Lear Levin at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka.

Lear Levin was inspired to rush to Bangladesh in 1971 by the Concert for Bangladesh on August 1 of that year at the historic Madison Square Garden in New York.

Lear Levin described that memory in a lengthy interview at his flat in Manhattan, New York, on Friday, October 24.