Private Project

Le Désespoir de la vieille

Faces staring at us. They are refugees from recent and distant upheavals--the 1971 Bangladeshi War of Independence, the current Rohingya crisis. Hints of future ones. The collage of images challenges us with grief and uncertainty. The crying of a child born in the camps conveys feelings of indeterminate futures, even hope is possible. A Baudelaire poem seems to counterpose the weight of the ages against the expectations of a new child or a new nation born from suffering. The penetrating gaze of the multiple images speak of cycles of rejection, victimization, struggles to build lives. The story of refugees.

  • Abid Hossain Khan
  • Abid Hossain Khan
  • Peter Reckhaus
    Executive Producer
  • Monsur Alam
  • Abid Hossain Khan
  • Mohammad Raju
  • Alain Le Treut
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 28, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    700 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • None
Distribution Information
  • None
Director Biography - Abid Hossain Khan

Abid Hossain KHAN is a Bangladeshi independent filmmaker. He has published numerous short experimental films some of which received national acclaim. ‘Mechanism’, one of his first short experimental films, was officially selected and screened as opening and ending film at the Bangladesh Documentary Festival 2014 and in the Bangladesh Film Category at the New York Film Festival in 2014. ‘Color’, filmed in 2014, was awarded best documentary film at the Celebrating Life Film Contest Dhaka in 2015. His short film ‘20 continuous shots followed by Siddhartha’ was premiered at Curta Cinema - Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival 2016. For this film, he got the award for best documentary at the Celebrating Life Film Contest Dhaka in 2016.
His first feature documentary film ‘Belonging’ is currently in the production stage. This film was awarded at the 17th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) in March 2019 (The Wouter Barendrecht Award) and the G2D Post Production Award (presented by G2D) towards a full sound package. For ‘Belonging’, he received a Bangladesh Government Film Grant.
Mr. Khan was the first Bangladeshi film director to be interviewed by the Hollywood Reporter.
Currently, he is working on a number of feature films: a documentary on disappearing professions in Bangladesh, a fiction on exploring life in Dhaka through the eyes of a foreigner, a fiction on a woman reflecting on the challenges she faces in the patriarchal society of Muslim Bangladesh.
Mr. Khan, born and brought up in a small town north of Dhaka, has studied in Sylhet and moved to Dhaka in 2010 where he lived ever since.

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Director Statement

Two major refugee crises struck Bangladesh: during the 1971 War of Independence and the current exodus of Rohingyas from Myanmar into Bangladesh. Behind the mere and incredible numbers of refugees, innumerable personal tragedies happened and currently happen again, hardly noticed by the world.
The old woman in both, the recited poem by Baudelaire and the film, represents the past, the newborn the future. The poem seems to counterpose the weight of the ages against the expectations of a new child or a new nation born from suffering.