In the East Pakistan of the late Sixties, political unrest threatens the bucolic existence of young Anu (Bablu). His father Kazi (Chattopadhyay), a devout Islamist, sends Anu away to learn Muslim ways in a Madrasa, leaving behind his ailing sister and loving mother. As the country spirals into civil war, Anu is torn between a father who trusts the oppressive government and a secular uncle campaigning for the creation of an independent state.
The late director Masud based this Bildungsroman drama on his own experiences as a child growing up in the years before the Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971. A feeling of authenticity is captured via the naturalism of the actors (many of them non-professionals), and the striking photography capturing rural customs and mystical songs. Initially banned in Bangladesh for its critique of scholarly Islam, this lyrical gem took home the Critics Prize from the Cannes Film Festival.