The Clay Bird

Synopsis: A family must come to grips with its culture, its faith, and the brutal political changes entering its small-town world.
Genre: Drama, History
Director(s): Tareque Masud
Production: Milestone Films
  5 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

Until 1971,

Bangladesh was the Eastern wing

of the Islamic State of Pakistan.

This story takes place

against the backdrop

of the democratic movement

against military rule in Pakistan

during the late 1960's,

which led to general elections.

The military government

cancelled the election results,

and the subsequent Army crackdown

culminated in civil war

and independence of Bangladesh.


Not like that.

From now on, you should use this.

Take it.

Do it. Let me watch.

No. Like this.

Allah is great.

Ma, when's Anu coming home?

I don't know.

Is he learning a lot in there?


He's going to be like your father.

Anu's mother!

Can I have some tea?

I've put the water on.

I keep asking you

about the medicine.

Asma's got fever again.

Please give her something.

I told you not to let

her wander outside,

she'll catch fever.

What else can she do?

She's got no one to play with

since you sent her brother

to madrasa.


sit up straight.

Oh Allah!

You have such long hair.

You know who keeps their hair long?

Women and Hindu sadhus.

Following them,

muslim mystics also grow their hair.

Are you trying to adopt

their impious ways?

Only for the new students,

I cut their hair the first time.

From now on,

you'll have to do it on your own.

This is called a "crew cut".

Have you finished?

Are you the new boy?

- Your name?

- My name's Anu.

That's not an Islamic name.

Your proper name is Anwar.


- What's your father's name?

- Kazi Mazharul Islam.

From now on, your name here is

Kazi Muhammad Anwarul Islam.


Anwar come quick,

you'll miss lunch!

At first you'll feel bad here

but you'll get use to it.

Do you like fish?

I hate it.

Really? Why?

I don't know.

Even the sight of it makes me sick.

What's your name?


Muhammad Rokonuddin Khan.

Anwar the animal!

Why stand there like a tree?

Play, or go away.

What kind of game is this?

This new kid's a dunce.

Doesn't know sh*t.

See, there's your friend,

playing by himself. Weirdo!

Gojoin him.

What are you doing?

It's just another game,

much better than their games.

No ball, no boundary...

nothing's allowed here.

Let's play! Here's my ball!

- Where?

- Here!

Here, catch!

Now throw it back.

Nothing like playing with a ball!

Let's see who can catch it!

Are you from a town or a village?

A town. And you?


Why did you let him go with Milon?

You know I don't like it.

Don't put it on me.

Can't you convince your own brother?

My son shouldn't see

all that Hindu rubbish!

You two are ruining my boy.

It's your brother

who takes him everywhere.

Easy to blame me.

I told you not to go out.

Your father is very angry.


You forgot the sweets!

What's this?

Let me see!

Get this heathen trash out of here!

I've had enough.

I'll send him off to madrasa.

Go to bed! Sleep!

Be quiet!



- Are you awake?

- Yes.

I can't sleep either.

I don't get it.

Why are they so mean to you?

You want something to eat?

What have you got?

Where did you get these?

Who gave them to you?

- My friend.

- Who's your friend?

I have a special friend.

A special friend?

Some day I'll tell you about him.

You all know about

the holy night of Meraj.

On this night, the Prophet Muhammad,

peace be upon him,

rode a winged horse

to have an audience with Allah.

On his way back from heaven,

he met Prophet Moses,

peace be upon him.

Prophet Moses

asked Prophet Muhammad:

"How many prayers did you get

assigned for your followers?"

Muhammad said:

"Fifty per day."

Moses cried out:
"That's too much!

Go back and ask him to reduce it."

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Catherine Masud

Catherine Masud (Bengali: ক্যাথরিন মাসুদ) is an American-born filmmaker, residing in Bangladesh since 1995. She has collaborated with her husband & filmmaking partner Tareque Masud to make numerous shorts, documentaries and features, many of which have been nationally/internationally awarded and shown around the world. Since Tareque's untimely death in August 2011, Catherine has devoted herself to the archiving and preservation of his work, and the completion of their unfinished oeuvre. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Clay Bird" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Jun 2023. <>.

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