A tale of statelessness spanning six decades and three countries, The Promised Land is about the 160,000 strong Urdu-speaking community of Bangladesh, living isolated lives in 116 camps across the country. The terms ‘Urdu-speakers’, ‘Non-Bengalis’ and ‘Biharis’ are used interchangeably to refer to the Muslim people, who originally emigrated from India to the newly created East Pakistan in 1947 and afterwards. Many of them originated from the state of Bihar and were fleeing large-scale communal massacres. Three decades later, during the struggle for independence in Bangladesh in 1971, this community became embroiled in conflict. Branded as collaborators against Bangladesh’s independence, this moment was a defining one for the Urdu-speakers, one that has left a devastating legacy.
[director]Tanvir Mokammel is a filmmaker and author from Bangladesh. Born in 1955, he has made five full-length feature films and 12 documentaries. A number of his films including The River Named Maodhumati, Quiet Flows the River Chitra, A Tree Without Roots, Lalon and The Sister have recieved national and international awards. His film Achin Pakhi, Teardrops of Karnaphuli and Bostrobalikara: Garment Girls of Bangladesh were shown at FSA ’97, FSA ’05 and FSA ’07, respectively.[/director]