Controversial Bangladeshi filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain already has her previous work released in France. I have nitpicks when it comes to her new movie, Made in Bangladesh. But I still hope for the best for this film.
Made in Bangladesh has Hossain’s signature feminist flair, once again using Rikita Nandini Shimu as her muse. This time, Shimu plays a woman with Shimu as her name, a factory worker, working hard yet underpaid.
A happenstance meeting with an activist, Nasima (Shahana Goswami), leads Shimu to start a union with her coworkers. Doing so means convincing others like Reshma (Deepanwita Martin) to risk losing their jobs for the cause.
Made in Bangladesh shows attention to detail, specifically with the machinery involved with sewing the factory’s product – clothes. Hossain shows how one piece is flimsier than the one before it, capturing unsafe conditions within the workplace.
Those conditions result in a fire that Shimu survives, which is another day at the job for her. The film shows her walking Dhaka’s streets not knowing the end of her burden in supporting her family.
The streets are just as much of a character as Shimu is, a part of her everyday struggle. These night scenes are especially interesting, as Shimu and the other women constantly find their way through.
As I previously said, I have some slight issues with the film, especially when characters talk about unions. That said, they’re preaching to the choir, me included, delighting audiences when these women finally raise their voices.
For more information on Made in Bangladesh, go to https://www.tiff.net/events/made-in-bangladesh.