The Unnamed (Oggatonama) directed by Tauquir Ahmed, has been nominated by the Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies (BFFS) as Bangladesh’s entry to the 89th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
The film starring Shahiduzzaman Selim, Fazlur Rahman Babu, Mosharraf Karim, Shatabdi Wadud and Nipun won the Jury Mention at the Gulf of Naples Independent Film Festival (Italy), Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Goddess on the Throne Film Festival (Kosovo), and Best Director at the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival.
In his instant reaction to the nomination of The Unnamed, Tauquir told The Daily Star of Bangladesh: “It is of great honor for me that ‘Oggyatonama’ has been nominated for the Academy Awards. The film has a humane story that has touched people’s heart. We do not have enough resources to make films to compete in the main competition; we work through various limitations. But I hope one day, if not us then filmmakers from our next generation will make films that will be in the final contention for the award.”
In The Unnamed, a young girl, Beauty, wants to get a job in a Middle Eastern country which will launch her in life and seeks the help of Ramjan, a manpower agent. Ramjan plans to do so in exchange of sexual favours but is disappointed when he finds a police constable, Farhad, who loves Beauty, in her house. Farhad is ready to help her get the necessary police clearance. In the meantime the officer in charge of the police precinct of the area receives a call from the Ministry of Expatriate Workers telling him to contact the relatives of one Wahab, an expatriate worker who had died in an accident, to receive his body at Dhaka airport. The officer arrives in Wahab’s village and meets the father who is both shocked and surprised as his son was working in Italy and was very much alive. A phone call to Wahab confirms his father’s claim. The officer then gets hold of Ramjan who confesses that he had sent another villager, Asir, by doctoring Wahab’s old passport which was lying with him, so that Asir was now also known as Wahab. The police officer then breaks the sad news to Asir’s father and instructs Ramjan to accompany the father to Dhaka for receiving his son’s body. After an arduous journey and a lot of hassle, the party retrieves the body and brings it back to the village. But while the body is being washed before the last rites, it is discovered that it belonged to a non-Muslim man, most likely from Indian south. The police officer is contacted and given the news, who then asks them to take it back to Dhaka and tells constable Farhad to go with them. After another painful journey and even more painful and futile negotiations with callous and dismissive officials of several ministries connected with expatriate affairs the party fails to find a solution. Now they don’t know what to do with the body, which had started to decompose. Asir’s father resigns to his fate but decides to give the poor dead man a decent burial in place of his son, and the journey continues to the village.