Rubaiyat Hossain

Jyoti Puri

Rakshanda Saleem

Elora Chowdhury

November 3, 2011

Harvard University

Set in the background of Bangladesh's independence war with Pakistan in 1971, the film Meherjaan (2011) tells the story of Meher, a woman who fell in love with a soldier from the enemy side during Bangladesh's war of independence, and her reconciliation with Sarah, a "war child" and Meher's niece, who was given away for adoption. Bangladeshi filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain has been accused of making an “unhealthy, misguided and ‘untrue’ feature based on a pro-Pakistan fantasy.” In the face of strong criticism, and violent threats against the film’s crew, the distributors pulled Meherjaan from circulation within a month of its release. Hossain sees her film as an attempt to present a counter-narrative of the war that does justice to the complexity of the times, calling into question the established heroic and masculinist nationalist narrative that has dominated discourse about and representation of the war - a women’s “feminine” re-visiting of the Bangladesh national liberation.  Following the film screening, Hossain and an expert panel from the region discuss this highly controversial film.


  • Register

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at