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Matir Moina
Directed by Tareque Masud
Produced by Catherine Masud
Written by Tareque Masud,
Catherine Masud
Starring Nurul Islam Babu,
Russell Farazi,
Jayanto Chattopadhyay,
Rokeya Prachy,
Soaeb Islam,
Lameesa Reemjheem
Cinematography Sudheer Palsane
Distributed by Audiovision/MK2
Release date(s) 2002
Running time 98 minutes
Country Bangladesh
Language Bangla

Matir Moina (Bengali: মাটির ময়না), also spelled as Matir Moyna and known in English as The Clay Bird, is a Bangla film directed by Tareque Masud, a Bangladeshi film director. The film was released in 2002. It won the International Critics' Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival,[1] and also became Bangladesh's first film to compete for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The film deals with Masud's own experiences studying at a madrasah against the increasing tensions in East Pakistan culminating in the Bangladesh War of Liberation. Throughout the film there are references to historical occurrences in agitated times, but the film portrays these episodes through the human experiences of the young protagonist, his family, and his teachers and peers at the madrasah. The film won a number of awards internationally but was initially banned in Bangladesh on the grounds that it dealt with issues sensitive to the religious. The ban was repealed and the DVD version was released on April 16th, 2005.[1]



According to the Masuds, the film was shot almost entirely with non-professionals in local settings often using local sounds. The cinematography attempted to capture the seasons in rustic appeal and the festivals and holidays of Bangladesh.



  • Nurul Islam Bablu as Anu
  • Russell Farazi as Rokon, his friend.
  • Jayanto Chattopadhyay as Kazi Shaheb, Anu's father.
  • Rokeya Prachy as Ayesha Bibi, Anu's mother.
  • Soaeb Islam as Milon, Anu's uncle.
  • Lameesa R. Reemjheem as Asma Anu's sister.
  • Moin Ahmed as Ibrahim Shaheb, one of Anu's teachers.
  • Mohammed Moslemuddin as the headmaster
  • Abdul Karim as Halim Mia
  • Manjila Begum as a female singer.
  • Momtaz as a female folk singer.


  • Tareque Masud, director, co-producer, and co-writer.
  • Catherine Masud, co-producer, editor and co-writer.
  • Sudheer Palsane, cinematography
  • Indrajit Neogi, sound recording
  • Moushumi Bhowmik, music direction
  • Momtaz, female playback singer for Pakita bondi achhe deher khachai (roughly translating as "the bird is trapped in the caged body")


The film is set against the backdrop of unrest in East Pakistan in the late 60s leading up to the Bangladesh War of Liberation. In this setting a small family must come to grips with its culture, its faith, and the brutal political changes entering its small-town world. Anu, a young boy, is sent off to a madrasah by his unbendingly devout father Kazi. Anu's younger sister falls ill and dies because of Kazi's refusal to use conventional medicine, while at the madrasah, he befriends Rokon, an eccentric misfit in the rigorous religious school, who is forced by the teachers to undergo an exorcism by ducking in the freezing river to cure himself.

Personal tragedies beset the family and tests its loyalty to the obdurate patriarch Kazi, who still believes in the religious unity of Pakistan, in the face of cruel, contradictory events.

A shattering political development then changes their town, their life and the inner dynamics of the family, including the patriarch's role.


Wins [2]

Nominations [2]

Matir Moina was also the first Bangladeshi film to compete for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Controversy and censorship

Matir Moina became the first full-length feature film from Bangladesh to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival and was the opening film of the Directors' Fortnight section. At about the same time the Bangladesh Film Censor Board felt the film was too sensitive to be screened in Bangladesh due to some religious overtones. The Masuds took their case to the Appeal Board and were able to get the decision of the government reversed. Thus, the film was finally shown in the country of its creation in late 2002.


The DVD of Matir Moina was released on 16 April 2005 by Laser Vision. It includes a two hour additional documentary that includes shootings, interviews and opinions from the audience. It is thought to be the first interacted DVD in Bangladesh.


  1. ^  Official website


External links


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