Bangladeshi Bangla movie “Chitra Nodir Pare” (1998) directed by Tanvir Mokammel. It tells the story of a Hindu family in the post partition India of 1947. They are in then East Bengal which became East Pakistan then following India’s independence. A lawyer Shashikanta Sengupta (Momtajuddin Ahmed) stays put there in village Narail besides which the river Chitra flows. The lawyer is deeply & emotionally attached to his land and decides to stay back, come what may. He feels nothing can beat staying beside river Chitra, not even heaven. He sends his son to study in Calcutta with his brother there, while his daughter Minoti (Afsana Mimi) stays back with him. The story fasts forward to the period when people start getting disillusioned with the military rule of General Ayub Khan and protests break out in university campuses. Minoti starts loving Badal a neighbour Muslim. Both of them have grown up together and he is a quiet dignified guy studying at Dhaka University. Unfortunately he becomes a victim of the police firing at the students. One by one people start leaving to migrate to Calcutta but the lawyer is steadfast in his decision. In the meanwhile the lawyer’s niece who is a widow is raped by some miscreants and that leads to more tension in the village. Afsana Mimi has done a good role as a demure girl very obedient of her father.
Ritwick Ghatak also made a movie on such a theme which had a river as its central focus called “Titas Ekti Nadir Naam” in 1973 just after the Bangladesh liberation, but that movie did not carry any English sub titles, so was difficult to follow. What’s with a river or a water body system that makes man so emotionally attached to it. The serenity of the water, the sound of the river perhaps!!