Matir Moina

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Matir Moina
Matir Moina.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTareque Masud
Produced by
Written by
  • Tareque Masud
  • Catherine Masud
Screenplay by
  • Tareque Masud
  • Catherine Masud
Story byTareque Masud
Music byMoushumi Bhowmik
CinematographySudheer Palsane
Edited byCatherine Masud
Distributed by
  • ICA Projects
  • MK2 Diffusion
  • Milestone Film & Video
  • Laser Vision
  • Oscilloscope
Release date
  • 2002 (2002)
Running time
98 minutes

Matir Moina (Bengali: মাটির ময়না; also spelled Matir Moyna and known in English as The Clay Bird) is a 2002 Bengali drama film directed by Tareque Masud, a Bangladeshi film director. The film's cast includes Nurul Islam Bablu (in his film acting debut), Jayanta Chattopadhyay, and Rokeya Prachy. It 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, and the film portrays these episodes through the human experiences of the young protagonist, his family, and his teachers and peers at the madrasah.

Matir Moina 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 The ban was repealed and the DVD version was released on April 16, 2005.[1]

Produced by Catherine Masud Matir Moina was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize in section Directors' Fortnight outside competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival,[1] and became Bangladesh's first film to compete for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


The film is set against the backdrop of unrest in East Pakistan in the late 1960s 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, Anu 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.


  • Nurul Islam Bablu as Anu
  • Jayanta Chattopadhyay as Kazi, Anu's father
  • Rokeya Prachy as Ayesha Bibi, Anu's mother
  • Lameesa R. Reemjheem as Asma, Anu's sister
  • Soaeb Islam as Milon, Anu's uncle
  • Russell Farazi as Rokon, Anu's friend
  • Md. Moslemuddin as the headmaster
  • Moyeen Ahmed as Ibrahim, madrasa teacher
  • Shah Alom Dewan as Sufi boatman
  • Abdul Karim as Halim Mia
  • Golam Mahmud as Shaheen
  • Pradip Mittra Mithun as Uttam
  • Auyon Chowdhury as Anu's 3rd Friend
  • Masud Ali Khan as Khan Bahadur
  • Manjila Begum as a female singer
  • Amena Khatun as Taser's Mother
  • Aynal Mia as Male Singer- Day Concert
  • Nasima Aktar as Female Singer- Day Concert
  • Abdul Malek as Night Concert Accompanist
  • Gurudhan as Night Concert Accompanist
  • Nuru Mia Chisty as Night Concert Accompanist
  • Shafique as Day Concert Accompanist
  • Majibur Rahman as Day Concert Accompanist
  • Iman Ali Sarkar as Day Concert Accompanist
  • Abdul Kadir as Day Concert Accompanist
  • Ibrahim Boyati as Ferry Boat Singer
  • Momtaz as a female folk singer
  • Mamunr Rahman (Sojib Khan)


Director and writer Tareque Masud


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.



Filming locations[edit]


All music is composed by Moushumi Bhowmik.

1."Jodi Bheste Jaite Chao"  
2."Pakhita Bondi Aachhe"Pradip Dey 


Matir Moina became the first full-length feature film from Bangladesh to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival,[2] and was the opening film of the Directors' Fortnight section.[3]

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. Masud took the case to the Appeal Board and agreed to minor changes so that it could be shown in the country of its creation. Matir Moina opened in one theater, Madhumita Cinema Hall in Dhaka, on 25 October 2002, and closed after two weeks.[2][3]

Home media[edit]

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


The film currently holds 89% of critics rating at Rotten tomatoes.


List of awards and nominations
Award / Film Festival Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s)/Nominee(s) Result
Cannes Film Festival 15 May 2002 – 26 May 2002 FIPRESCI Prize in section Directors' Fortnight Tareque Masud Won
Directors Guild of Great Britain 2004 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Foreign Language Film Tareque Masud Nominated
International Film Festival of Kerala 2003 Golden Crow Pheasant Tareque Masud Nominated
Marrakech International Film Festival 2002 Best Screenplay Award Tareque Masud, Catherine Masud Won
National Film Awards 2002 Best Child Artist Russell Farazi Won
Best Screenplay Tareque Masud Won
Best Child Artist Nurul Islam Bablu Won


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official website


  1. ^ A web resource on Tareque Masud and his film Matir Moyna compiling many of his film reviews and interviews
  2. ^ a b "Matir Moina ready to take off clean". The Daily Star. 21 October 2002. Archived from the original on 8 November 2002.
  3. ^ a b Raju, Zakir Hossain (Autumn–Winter 2002). "A coming of age ... Tarique Masud's The Clay Bird". Cinemaya. Vol. 56–57. pp. 16–19.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]