Experiencing Interruptions?


Story, Screenplay & Direction : Rafiqul Anowar (Russell)

Log line :

A settled Immigrant from Europe returns to his native country, to help family of a young man whose corpse is kept in morgue of Malta, since his death while crossing Mediterranean Sea along with illegal migrants. But situations he faces and story he explores from other part were really unimaginable.

Synopsis :

Moqbul Hussain , origin by Bangladeshi is settled businessman lives in Rome, Italy with his family as citizen. On a trip in Malta, while talking to his wife in Bengali Language over phone, Moqbul is confronted by a Syrian young man named Yasser. Yasser tells Maqbul, being Bangladeshi, Moqbul should help him for a Bangladeshi who is dead and his corpse is kept in government morgue and no way to return to his country. Both Yasser and Imran came here crossing Mediterranean Sea. Many died with Imran due to hunger & starvation. Yasser survived and now he is a hidden refugee. Before leaving for Europe, he wishes to handover diary of Imran to anyone of his countryman, so that he can send back the body. Moqbul agrees to receive that diary and tells Yasser to meet him next day. At night Moqbul starts reading the diary, finds story of pain and sufferings Imran faced in the journey for a dream. Moqbul goes to Morgue next day. The officer briefs Moqbul about the situation, gives documents accordingly.

Moqbul comes to Bangladesh after many years and goes to the village of Imran. At first, he faces adversities from Imran’s family. His brother Ismail thinks Moqbul came for money. Later they told , Imran left the house more than two years ago. He was married and wife was pregnant then. Local broker sent him Jedda, Saudi Arabiafirst. Oneday Imran phoned them, as he was moving to Europe by a Tarzan visa on boat. In the beginning, they had contacts but later connection was lost. They were finally convinced he was no longer alive. Moqbul explains if the family wants to bring back the body of the dead Imran, it is possible and requires money. Family refuses to bring him back as they are incapable to spend a penny. A village young man Ajmal who was loosely friend of Imran comes to help them. Moqbul meets Imran’s wife Rukhsana who was taken to his father’s home in another village and shares the situation. Moqbul stays in a friends residence, and by the help of various people he manages to initiate the steps to bring back the body of Imran. He reads each page of Imran’s Diary where he describes the horror of traveling from desert to sea, made Moqbul’s night sleepless.

The other story unfolds Moqbul’s own return to his home, what he left 25 years ago for his own career. Now he tries to re connect the relations but all are already lost in time. He felt empty and a life with no meaning at the end. He feels, the life of Imran and Moqbul is similar - either legal or illegal way, the dislocation of own roots, soil and relations is the permanent wound that cannot be healed by any achievements of life.

Finally papers are ready and Imran’s coffin is coming back to homeland. Moqbul, Ajmal, Rukhsana with her Child and old mother of Imran are waiting also at Dhaka Airport. The flight is scheduled to arrive. Bondage and relationship of Moqbul with his own family and country regained emotionally.

  • Rafiqul Anowar
    A Mandolin in Exile, The Adventurer, Fun
  • Rafiqul Anowar
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 48 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Official Selection, West Meets East Screenplay Lab, 2022
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    January 19, 2022
Director Biography - Rafiqul Anowar

Rafiqul Anowar (Russell) was born on 15 October , 1978  at Chittagong, Bangladesh and has been working as an Independent Producer, Writer and Director. He completed Masters  in English Literature. His career started as a film society activist in 1998. Anowar also writes film criticisms and short stories. Rafiqul Anowar’s debut film as Director was The ADVENTURER (2014) had been screened in various film festivals and sessions nationwide. He also directed other short films ‘HIJACK’ (2008), THE ANCIENT REBEL (2008),  FUN ( 2012 ) and involved in many other short films, documentaries as performer, writer and producer. In 2014, he was appointed as Adjunct Faculty, Film Production in University of Chittagong. He joined at DOCEDGE Kolkata in 2019 and participated with project A Mandolin in Exile at Exposition Young Film Talents competition, where it won the ‘Best Project’ for 2019. Anowar also participated in documentary platform for co production market named Dhaka DOCLAB , 2019, third session and joined at PRODUCERS WORKSHOP with his fiction project Swapnochari (Traveler of Dream ) in FILM BAZAAR, 2019  that held in Goa, India. He used to write for TV and Web fictions for national tv as well. In February, 2021 his short stories collection ‘Stories of Misfits’ has been published. 

Rafiqul Anowar recently premiered his feature documentary A MANDOLIN in EXILE on 27 August, 2020. The film is based on the human rights issues of the Rohingya Crisis. It is now selected in various online and offline festivals .

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Director Statement

The story of Imran’s corpse kept in Malta’s Morgue - comes to me from a news report published in 2019 at local daily. It is based on true event. But it was not sufficient to tell story of illegal migrant’s tragic journey of sufferings and pains, they faced for the dream which mostly fails and dies on the path. According to UNHCR and IOM reports, Bangladeshi people move mainly out of poverty and no work. It has been observed most of the cases people died and lost their lives in the desert, sea or jungles while traveling through desert, sea or jungle.

Its never intended to portray any corpse’s journey as central theme. More to reveal the reason like poverty, friendship, patriotism and human relationship in hard situation. It’s true, the family of real Imran refused to bring back his body due to lack of money and poverty. The local residents and political patrons took to financial and other initiatives to send the body of their own countrymen. It is really amazing story to tell the world as Humanity exists. The creative freedom and imagination have been taken due to express the basic human cry, dream for betterment of living. War, crisis, civil-war, poverty even local terrorisms are forcing people to migrate to better place. The most third world countrymen dream to live happily in Europe, Canada, Australia. So they take life risks travel to move, even along with whole family. A number of illegal agencies and networks in Bangladesh have sprung up to help potential Bangladeshi migrants to make the journey to Europe. The migrants might go to Dubai, KSA, or Turkey first, then fly to Tripoli, Libya. When they reach Libya, with the help of a smuggler, called local militia of Libya, who control this illegal migrant business; they will try to then take a boat to Italy The passage is one of the world's deadliest, with more two thousand people who have drowned or gone missing on the journey so far this year. 

Human Migration , legal or illegal are present phenomenon and also its impact is critical all over the world. Even for rising number of legal immigrants in many European countries, local people are feeling threat and unsecured. It is been observed, racism, hatreds and clashes are rising day by day. So, I feel the migration stories and events like this should be taken seriously.