চ্যানেল আই অনলাইন
হৃদয়ে বাংলাদেশ প্রবাসেও বাংলাদেশ

Tale of Natsumi: Camera took me here

I was born in Aomori Prefecture in Japan. But I spent Miyagi prefecture from 0 to 7 years old, because my father got transferred to the office. After it, I spent Aomori until I was 18 years old. Aomori and Miyagi, both are located in the north of Honshu island and called Tohoku district. There is the countryside rich in nature. Famous foods are apple and seafood. Hachiko’s hometown is also Tohoku. Spring is Cherry blossom festival, summer is the Nebuta festival, Star festival and fireworks, autumn is Tanbo Art, winter is Snow festival. My hometown has the beautiful four seasons of Japan. But there was also an earthquake disaster and Tsunami in 2011 (3.11).

My childhood dream was to be ‘Makkuro kurosuke (Soot sprites)’ / ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ by Stdio Ghibli, when I asked my father… Anyway, I liked camera as a child. When I was in high school, I requested my father that I want a video camera as my birthday gift if I ranked high in the exam and finally got my video camera. Since that, I only took video, although everyone took pictures at the graduation ceremony and excursion.

It is common to enter the university immediately after high school (or one year later), but in Japan, it is common to go on university a year after high school and then take an entrance exam the department of own choice for everyone. But my dream was uncertain at that time that’s why I tried to experience some jobs while 19-22 years old. I worked as boat operator at Disneyland, party hostess and camera assistant etc. Then I noticed what I want. it was film making. I began to go on Nihon University, faculty of Arts, department of Cinema. It is the most famous faculty of arts in Japan. There are some course, director, actor, sound recording, screenwriter, graphic designer. I chose cinematographer course.

I learned the word “Bangladesh” in Geography class of high school. In Japan (High school), we have to select one from three classes (World history / Japanese history / Geography). I wondered that only a few students tended to select Geography, although I selected it without hesitation. Furthermore, I liked geography the best. One question was the popular topic In the exam. “Where is the country ‘If Global Warming progresses, then there is a considerable risk’?”. I still remember that I filled in the blank with the name ‘Bangladesh’. Also I learned it as the poorest country.

My elder sister started a relationship with a man around that time. He was working at NGO in Bangladesh. When she went to see him, I decided to go together to Bangladesh and made ‘A man’ about him. It was June 2010, the first overseas for me. I stayed in Dhaka and Mymensing for 1 week.

One of the reason that I entered the department of Cinema was my feeling that I had felt “Reality is boring”. So, I wanted to make the fiction. But, after making “A man”, Non-fiction was moved me. I found the drama in the real world. I made a fiction drama in the third year. Then, in forth year, I came again to Bangladesh and made a documentary film as my graduation production “Apu namer Alo” (It was a Japanese woman’s story that began to live in Bangladesh. Even though she had difficulty living in a different culture, she loved here and people, shone by herself and lighted them). I was awarded JPPF 2013 for this film. After graduation, I fulfilled to work at Documentary Japan inc. that I admired. But I had always remembered Bangladesh. I resigned my office in two years and began to live here, not visiting for a few weeks. I wanted to know about Bangladesh more deeply. It was the summer of 2014. And, I started to seek for the next theme of my documentary.

My first target was to make a documentary film. While seeking the theme everyday, I noticed that I was called (discriminated) from Bangali people on the road ‘China!’ ‘Chun Chan Chyon!’ and ‘Chakma!’… I knew the meaning of the first and second one… But what is third one? After then, I searched the word ‘Chakma’ and understood the existence of Indigenous people in Bangladesh. I visited to Rangamati, Chittagong Hill Tracts in February 2015 and I fall in love that place and people at once. I was going to be a teacher of film making at a certain school, but well, it’s a long story from this point.

I can not still fulfill to make a documentary film, although I made a short one. I published a photo book about CHT in 2016. I started to write article as Ambassador of Bangladesh at one company (2 stories a month) in 2017. It was a real job just to survive daily life these past 3 years, and there was also a time when I felt impatient at my delay in making. But I no longer feel so. Now, I’d like to cherish ‘living a life’ here, challenge some interests and meet my loved people’s needs. But you know, I will keep staying with Chittagong Hill Tract and Bangladesh.

In 2018, I will begin one Cinema project here. But, this is a secret now! Then, I hope to make a music video or some short film. I want to make these with sensitivity only women possible or special to woman.

Two years ago, my elder sister and I held a film screening of “Apu namer Alo”, with Dhaka University Film Society. Through the film… In Japan, I wanted to tell Japanese people the good aspects of Bangladesh. Because they have some bad images of the garbage problem and poverty in Bangladesh. But I knew there are some nostalgic sceneries. Children’s toughness, the warmth of villagers, the measure of happiness, unbroken culture, Humanity. These are something Japanese has just lost a little. Japanese were moved by this documentary. The reason I was able to capture close to Bangladesh is also that they accepted a foreigner like me. I  have used “GH2” and “GH3” (Panasonic, LUMIX), it was camera that my professor selected with my situation at this documentary shooting. If I used a big size and too expensive one, it was impossible to capture such peoples and natural moments in foreign country. Let’s get back on track. And, in Bangladesh, I wanted to tell Bangladeshi friends our feelings to this country. Even though encounter difficulties, after all we loves here. Besides, I wanted to challenge translation to Bangla and recording narration here.

Bangladeshis are very patriotic or their own hometown-lover. I might learned from them to love mine (Japan and Aomori, Tohoku).

There’s some funny differences (language, philosophy, sense of value, nuance) between two countries, and some-times I have cried it. It’s the peoples in Bangladesh who heals me and also hurts. Even so, I can’t stop dreaming here and staying with them.