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In 1959, a group of film enthusiasts inspired by the example of Satyajit Ray in India banded together to make what they hoped would be Pakistan’s first experiment Art Film with realist cinema. The film was made by a Pakistani filmmaker under the supervision of the Pakistani greatest poets, Faiz Ahmed Faiz as the story and song’s lyrics were penned downed by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. That’s why the film is often referred to as “Faiz Sahib’s film”, by the common film commentator. The director of the film A. J. Kardar went into under shade of the biggest name of Faiz specially at the time as Faiz Ahmed Faiz became an important figure on the political front in the country after his release from prison he had indulged whole-heartedly in trade-union activity and was a vociferous spokesman of radical change in the socio-economic structure of the country.
The Jago Hua Sawera was considered as featured documentary as Director A. J. Kardar adopted a narrative style in the film which had not previously been used in commercial cinema. A. J. Kardar received his filmic training in Britain and made this film with ACE cameraman Walter Lassally as cinematographer who was a key figure in Britain’s Free Cinema movement. The dialogues and screenplay for the film by Faiz and poignancy of the film is heightened by Timir Baran‘s background music of this film which is considered one of the best efficient film making in Pakistan. The film was released abroad with the title as Day Shall Dawn with a special technique used in the film was that of close-ups that lasted up to a minute, lingering on the facial expressions. The technique was inspired by Podpikin, the Russian director, and especially from his silent movie ‘Mother’ where he used it to create empathy with the character. It is difficult to assess how successfully Kardar was able to use this technique, for many people did not respond to it and it was possibly instrumental in the film’s failure in commercial terms at box office.
The story penned by the Faiz Ahmed Faiz, was created on the lives of the family of fishermen working along the Padma River in what was East Pakistan. The theme was based on Manik Bandyopadhyay’s ‘Padma Nadir Majhi’. Late thespian, Tripti Mitra played the lead female character in the film which was shot at Saitnol in Bangladesh then in East Pakistan, that is about thirty miles from Dhaka. Story revolves around fishermen’s lives at the Meghna. with extreme poverty of these fishermen. They dream of perhaps owning a fishing boat one day, but in most cases death comes faster because poverty leaves nothing but a shell on their impoverished bodies.
Although the film proved to be a flop venture mainly it was not on the line of tested conventions of popular cinema and the its language which was used in the film was mixture of Bengali and Urdu that was not well taken by majority of the ordinary spectators as it was difficult to understood by both community of East and West Pakistan. But in spite of that, Jago Hoa Sawera was able to earn international awards like second prize in Masco International Film Festival and Best Foreign Language Film Award of Robert F. Hartley Film Foundation of United States in 1959. Moreover this film released in United States of America, Former USSR, France, Belgium, East Africa and China with the sub titles of English and French. Overall film received several glowing reviews by international critics and it is still considered the most serious and creative attempt at film making in Pakistan.
Previously the film was considered as LOST film but it was recently discovered in a film archive in London by producer’s son which was very well received by the film lovers as this was the first Pakistani film which was honored with profound awards at international platform.
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Complete credited cast: NC
Film Details with Crew
(For more details go to Songography)