Zahir Raihan was one of the most talented film makers in Bangladesh. He was born on 19 August 1935 in the village Majupur, in Feni district. He was an active worker of the Language Movement. He was one of the ten students to go out in a procession on 21 February 1952 despite a ban on such activities. As a result, he and many others were arrested and taken to prison. Zahir was also present at the historical meeting of Amtala on February 21, 1952. He also took part in the mass movement in 1969. In 1971, he joined the Liberation War.[AdSense-B]
All through his life, Zahir dreamt for a democratic society, a society that will ensure freedom of speech and will. He had many dreams about our film industry too. He made a legendary film Jibon Theke Neya based on the Language Movement of 1952. It was a revolt against the then autocratic government. The family presented in that film was a miniature East Pakistan ruled by an autocrat who had to go to the prison for her conspiracy. During the liberation war this film was shown outside Bangladesh. Critics like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, and Ritwik Ghatak appreciated this film. Zahir gave all his money to the Freedom Fighters’ trust that he got from his film shows. Besides, his great documentary on Pakistani atrocities, Stop Genocide, helped create world sentiment in favour of our liberation war.
On 30 December 1971, someone informed Zahir about an address somewhere at Mirpur, where he might find his brother, the famous writer Shahidullah Kaiser. Shahidulla was captured and killed by the Pakistani army and the local collaborators during the last days of the war. Accordingly Zahir left home to get his brother back and he never returned. Zahir’s dream was fulfilled. He could see the inception of a free independent Bangladesh though he did not get back his brother. And it’s a pity that this dreamer was missing at such a time when his dream came true.