Renowned filmmaker, writer and freedom fighter Zahir Raihan’s 86th birth anniversary today.
Born on August 19 in 1935 at Majupur in Feni, he made immense contribution towards shaping Bangla films in the 1960s.
He started his film career as an assistant director on the Urdu film ‘Jago Hua Savera’ in 1957. This was his first direct involvement in film. He also assisted Salahuddin in the film ‘Je Nadi Marupathe’. The filmmaker Ehtesham also employed him on his film ‘E Desh Tomar Amar’, for which he wrote the title song. In 1960, he made his directorial début with his film ‘Kokhono Asheni’, which was released in 1961. In 1964, he made Pakistan’s first colour film, ‘Sangam’, and completed his first CinemaScope film, ‘Bahana’, the following year.
The effect of the Language Movement was so strong on him that he used it as the premise of his landmark film ‘Jibon Theke Neya’. He also took part in the 1969 Mass uprising in East Pakistan. In 1971 he joined in the Liberation War of Bangladesh. During the liberation war Raihan went to Kolkata, where his film ‘Jibon Theke Neya’ was shown. His film was highly acclaimed by Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, and Tapan Sinha.
Apart from being a filmmaker, he was also an acclaimed writer. His first collection of short stories, titled ‘Suryagrahan’, was published in 1955.
He disappeared on January 30, 1972 while trying to find his brother, Shahidullah Kaiser, who was last seen in December 1971.