Alta Banu

DIRECTOR : Arun Chowdhuri
CAST : Jakia Bari Momo, Anisur Rahman Milon, Raisul Islam Asad, Mamunur Rashid, Dilara Zaman
VENUE: Aga Khan Museum Auditorium | 77 Wynford Dr, Toronto, ON


They grew up in a very ordinary village of Bangladesh. Their house is by the river. Brought up in a poverty stricken home, the elder sibling is 25 years old and the younger 21. In great hardship, the father who is a farmer arranged the marriage of the elder sister. The groom works in the Middle East. The boy is not of the best character or personality. He has managed to accommodate his parents and relatives in the village quite comfortably with the affluent money he has brought from the Middle East. This has led to a sense of pride and egoism in him. Getting a marriage proposal for Alta from such a well-off groom, her father agreed in an instant. The date of the marriage was fixed. According to Bengali culture, even a “Gaaye Holud” ceremony took place. All their neighbors were invited. The wedding outfits, food supplies and other essentials for the wedding were purchased.
Just the day before the wedding, the groom who was named Sohel Rana called Alta near the river bank and very casually informed her that he has decided to break off the wedding and left. He also told her that the men of this country solely had the power to call off weddings anytime they pleased.
When Alta asked the reason for the decision, Rana replied that his father has seen a bad dream the previous night. He saw the dream at dawn and according to his superstitious belifs, dreams seen at this time come true. “What has he seen?”
He saw that, a poisonous snake was chasing him and later the snake also chased his son and bit him. The mother of the groom has also noticed that the bride’s hair was reddish at the ends and this is a bad omen. Furthermore, an elder in the family has also passed away. After all these bad news, the parents of the groom has decided that in the current circumstances, if they still marry their son to Alta, something negative and unpleasant will have entered their home. So in such a situation, he has no other option but to cancel the marriage. Every family member has apparently understood the bride; she is of no good.Instantaneously darkness loomed over Alta’s family. Alta, Banu and their father, they all broke down.In sheer anger, Banu rushed to the groom’s house. After heated altercations with Rana’s parents, Banu could no longer be found anywhere in the village from that day on. The villagers had last seen Banu in an isolated part of the riverbank in the morning. The younger cousin of the groom, Ramiz Raju, was also seen there at that time. In his mobile phone, Raju had recorded some video clips. From that moment, Banu was missing under suspicious circumstances. Banu’s father Karimullah passed away in sorrow of his missing daughter. So gathering courage, Alta set out in search of her lost sister. Leaving her village, she crossed the river and went to small towns and cities. She kept on searching for her sister. Many incidents took place during her search. She slowly became involved in many superstitions beliefs and customs of the small towns and villages of Bangladesh.