Photos by A.M. Ahad for Associated Press
A new movie about Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza tragedy of 2013 is banned in the country for at least six months. Aptly entitled “Rana Plaza,” the film follows real life factor worker, Reshma Begum, who was trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed sweat shop for a whopping 17 days. The high court of Bangladesh has deemed the film unfit to play in theaters for at least six months, while the film’s director Nazrul Islam Khan claims it shows hope and transparency in the controversial garment industry of Bangladesh.
Rana Plaza was an illegally built five story sweat shop complex that produced garments for leading retailers around the world. In part due to some of its incredible safety violations, the complex completely collapsed on April 24, 2013 during a fire, killing 1,135 workers. Khan’s incredible film tells the story of one of the workers, Reshma Begum, who tried to escape down a staircase when the building came tumbling down. Luckily, Begum was trapped in a small space that had dried food and bottled water, enabling her to survive until rescuers found her 17 days after the collapse.
Naturally, garment factory owners were not pleased with Khan’s documentary, which has shed light on the unacceptable working conditions that Bangladeshi factory workers face every day. With urging from the factory owners, the high courts have banned the film of Begum’s story for six months, finding it did not portray the booming $25 billion garment industry in a positive light. The censorship may have pushed back Rana Plaza’s September 1 debut, but Khan hopes that the truth will be shown after the six months has passed.