The film

Madrid

‘In between’ is a documentary project collecting personal stories of Bangladeshi immigrants living in Madrid. It attempts to bring to the foreground the unseen communities we share our cities with, the people, their philosophies and their journeys.

Victor Kossakovsky believes the world conspires towards the making of a film, and I believe that’s how my journey towards this particular film set about. I was born in Assam – a state in the northeast of India – and raised between the west and the south of India, by my mother who is from another region in the northeast and my father who is from Bangladesh. I have grown up as a migrant in my own country; India has 26 official languages and it so happens that I have never lived in a city where I spoke the local language.

Last October, 2012 I moved to Madrid. During my first few months in this bustling cosmopolitan city I noticed the presence of a large Bangladeshi community. My initial interactions began with street hawkers – guys selling beer in the night or an odd assortment of merchandise such as flowers and sunglasses through the day. Our common language enabled us to share our histories, dreams and struggles – spontaneous conversations that eventually translated into this film.

For the longer version of the documentary we would like to shoot in Bangladesh with the people who get left behind like the Mothers, wives, families and friends.

‘In between’ follows these characters as they narrate their dreams, aspirations and stories of migration. Here are some of the people we have been following:

  • Bobby left home when he was 20. He loves Madrid as he has spent a crucial 21 years in this city (half of his life). He has done a variety of odd jobs and lived many experiences in Spain. He is a singer and a philosopher and he articulates his philosophy through his songs in the film. Due to the economic crisis in Spain Bobby has chosen to move to London where he hopes for better opportunities. Currently he lives in London and we would like to document his life there as he is back to square one with this transition.
  • Titli recounts her experience of moving from Bangladesh to Madrid with dreams of love and better life. She has three kids now and sells products from back home in flea markets here while also running a shop set in her house. Titli got married over the telephone while she was in Bangladesh because her to-be husband was living illegally in Madrid. This is a common occurrence within the Bangladeshi community, where couples ‘arrange to marry’ over the telephone due to the long distance. Lots of women from Bangladesh move house only after getting married. Titli highlights the point of view of these women.
  • Sattar has been in Spain for eight years and he works at the airport. He lived alone in Madrid while his wife was in Bangladesh. He tells us about his eternal dream of attaining a Spanish passport so that he can be free to travel. He narrates his childhood dreams of living abroad. Sattar´s wife has recently arrived in Madrid and we would like to shoot more with him to follow this transition in his life.
  • Kazi is an eternal traveller who does not want to settle down; he left Bangladesh hoping to travel the world and see new places. He is 35 years old now and has been in Madrid for eight years. He has his own car and lives on the road. He works as a driver for people who want to travel cross-country. He has travelled throughout Europe and loves his job. We would like to hit the road with him.