Screening of Adam Surat
Screening of ‘আদম সুরত’ (The Inner Strength) by Tareque Masud at Pathshala. Our host was Catherine Masud.
Adom Surot (The Inner Strength) 1989, 47 mins
Direction: Tareque Masud, Cinematography: Mishuk Munier
In 1982, Tareque Masud began work on what eventually became a 7-year labor of love– a documentary on the Bangladeshi painter S.M. Sultan. Sultan was, by that time, already renowned as an epic large-canvas painter of the Bangladesh peasantry. But he was also someone outside the mainstream of Bangladeshi post-1971 art– a fiercely non-conformist, cross-dressing bohemian, who lived in the dilapidated remains of a zamindar (landlord) palace, with dozens of cats in attendance. Sultan’s unique art form, and his unconventional persona initially attracted Tareque to the story. However, over several years of close association with Sultan, Tareque and his cameraman Mishuk Munier, developed a deep understanding of Sultan’s philosophy about the peasantry, their culture, and their strong attachment to the land. Sultan’s unique worldview, and its reflection in his art, became the focus of Masud’s documentary. Made on a threadbare budget with limited means and experience, Masud’s first film was finally completed in 1989. The intensive association with Sultan left a profound impression on Masud, which influenced his subsequent work with its emphasis on folk culture and rural life. It was also the beginning of a collaboration with cinematographer Munier that would span nearly three decades.