Nazrul in the Movie: Lesser Known Facts About Our National Poet

An excerpt from “Drubho”, released in 1934. Nazrul starred in and wrote the screenplay for this film.


An excerpt from “Drubho”, released in 1934. Nazrul starred in and wrote the screenplay for this film.

An indomitable voice that rises in every crisis, against oppressive authority, he was never afraid to express his innermost thoughts.

Today marks the 123rd birthday of our national poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam. His philosophy of life largely reflects his works.

His contribution to music and literature is well defined, however, much of his ideology remains to be studied.

Not only has he lent his voice to films, but he has produced music, written lyrics, and even written film scripts. He even acted himself in a few films.

In 1934, he made his debut as a director. He co-directed the film “Dhrubo”, with Satyandranath.

He was also instrumental in the project which also had him as musical director. The film contained 18 tracks of which 17 songs were written by him. Nazrul also lent her vocals to three of the production’s compositions.

Today marks the 123rd birthday of our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.


Today marks the 123rd birthday of our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

He also acted in a comedic role in the movie “Haal Bangla”.

In 1938 a film was made based on his creation “Bidyapoti”. Nazrul also served as musical director for several films of his time.

Some of the titles of the projects are – “Patalpuri” (1935), “Groher Pher” (1937), “Gora” based on the novel of the same name by Rabindra Nath Tagore (1938) – interestingly he also does an interpretation of Tagore song.

Projects for which he wrote screenplays include ‘Shapure’ (1938), which was later filmed in Hindi as ‘Sapore’. The poet was also associated with this production.

In 1942, he composed 8 titles, written by himself for the film “Chowrongi”.

From “Jibon Theke Neya” (“Karar Oi Louho Kopat”) by Zahir Raihan to “Chandrokotha” (“Potho Hara Pakhi”) by Humayun Ahmed, there are many films that present the maestro’s compositions.

BTV produced a series based on Nazrul’s novel “Mrityu Khudha”. A film was also made based on the same novel.

Over the years, at times, several adaptations of Nazrul’s works have been produced for television, but these were somewhat poor presentations.

Additionally, big-screen projects based on Nazrul’s works are rare.

In 1971, Khan Ataur Rahman made the film “Shukh Dukkho” inspired by Nazrul’s “Padma Gokhra”. Filmmaker Mustafiz also picked up the same story and made “Mayar Badhon” in 1976.

Nazrul’s “Jiner Badshah” was adapted for the big screen project starring Bappa Raj.

After about three decades, three of Nazrul’s works have been adapted as films “Meher Negar” (2005), jointly directed by Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar and Moushumi, starring Ferdous and Moushumi, “Rakkhushi” (2006) by Matin Rahman , with Rozina, Ferdous and Purnima and “Priya Tumi Shukhi How” (2014) by Gitali Hasan, starring. These films were produced by the TV movie Impress.

Two children’s films have also been produced by Bangladesh Shishu Academy, based on his poems, “Lichu Chor” and “Khuki O Kathbirali”.

A number of documentaries have also been made on Kazi Nazrul Islam by several organizations in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. International media BBC and Canadian filmmaker Philip Sparrel also worked on his documentary.

Nazrul’s works have not had enough space in our films, although there can be a vast dimension of art visualized from his works – whether novels, short stories, poems or songs.

An interesting fact about the poet is that in 1941, under the patronage of Sher E Bangla AK Fazlul Haque, Kazi Nazrul Islam formed the film production house Bengal Tigers Pictures. He was accompanied by Abbasuddin Ahmed, Ustad Mohammad Hossain Khosru, Humayun Kabir, S Wazed Ali, Mohammad Modabber, Azizul Islam, Sarwar Hossain and Azizul Haq among others.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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