Shimu (Rikita Shimu), to the centre, will stand up for better working conditions in their workshop of textile.
June 4, 2020
Updated June 5, 2020 to 4h17
Made in Bangladesh: one is the cotton *** 1/2
CRITICAL-Anyone who has seen the hard-hitting documentary is at the cotton by Denys Arcand in 1970, but censored until 1976) will be seized with fright, 50 years later, by Made in Bangladesh. Rubaiyat Hossain has used the fiction, but its touching and amazing feature described with as much acuity as the exploitation of women in the textile factories and their struggle for decent working conditions.
I write fiction, but the drama is rooted strongly in reality, since it “recreates” the true story of a working-Dhaka to the origin of the first union women in Bangladesh. And that it refers directly to the collapse of the building Rana Plaza that caused the death of 1 130 textile workers on the 24th April 2013 in Dhaka.
Shimu (Rikita Shimu), 23, the heroine of the story — I use the term deliberately — is alluded to from the beginning. It is only Made in Bangladesh begins, after a few shots of the sweatshop overheated, crowded and noisy, with a fire alarm. Panicked strokes, the poor women are jumping in the stair gates, the disaster of the Rana Plazza fresh in their minds.
Two days later, Shimu is challenged by a unionist, that informs them of their rights. The idea begins to make her way quietly. But the young woman plays a dangerous game in this patriarchal society is repressive. It is necessary to avoid attracting the attention of the managers, but also of Sohel (Mostafa Monwar), her husband slackers possessive. And to convince his colleagues. “There is no law for the poor,” says one of them.
Made in Bangladesh focuses, therefore, on his journey, which is not without recalling that of Norma Rae (Martin Ritt, 1979) with Sally Field in the title role. Determined, the modest working-class attempts to take steps to enable him to obtain a first collective agreement despite the accidents of course — her friend Reshma (Deepanita Martin) lose his job.
By the way, the filmmaker Rubaiyat Hossain also reveals segments of the society bangladesh, the intimidation of women, often treated as less than nothing; the rampant corruption; the willful blindness of the operators, in their race for profit.
At a time when the will of Shimu fails, there’s that sequence is revealing. She learns that the price of two or three jackets sold in the West fills a month of his salary. The worker sews more than 1000 per day… Shimu will go back to the front, whatever it costs.
We are in doubt, Made in Bagladesh adopts a documentary approach, which allows to discover the conditions of work stunning, but also Dhaka, megalopolis, crowded and cacophonous. Change of scenery guaranteed.