Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Things I Could Never Tell My Mother

A Muslim family of three living under one roof in Dhaka. Homebound, pandemic or otherwise. The daughter in her early 40s, is a filmmaker in a relationship with a Hindu Indian. The mother has had a sudden religious awakening, an old age staple in Bangladesh. The father is more tolerant towards their daughter’s liberal views, but does little to intervene with the mother’s tantrums. Will she ever be able to accept her daughter as she is? Can the daughter even tell her about this seemingly doomed love-affair?

Director Humaira Bilkis invites us into a private space that is achingly relatable in her feature length documentary Things I Could Never Tell My Mother.

Sadia Khalid Reeti, Dhaka Tribune

Things I Could Never Tell My Mother is an intimate documentary which allows the filmmaker to wrestle with her internal conflicts. She is in a relationship with a Hindu man, which is forbidden according to Islam. This would previously have not been an issue, but her mother’s faith now raises a major conflict to resolve. One which threatens to rip both relationships apart. Things I Could Never Tell My Mother is a cathartic exercise in many ways. One which allows Bilkis to approach the subject from an unusual angle.

Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia

Language: Bengali
Subtitles: English
Length: 80 min
Age Limit: S
Year: 2022
Production Country: France, Bangladesh

Director: Humaira Bilkis
Producer: Humaira Bilkis, Quentin Laurent
Production Company: Les Films de l’œil sauvage, Zoo Films
Distribution Company: ANTIPODE Sales International
Screenplay: Humaira Bilkis, Léa Chatauret, Quentin Laurent
Editing: Léa Chatauret
Cinematographer: Humaira Bilkis
Sound Design: Humaira Bilkis