DIRECTOR: MOHAMMAD RABBY MRIDHA STARRING: MOSTAFA MONWAR PRIYAM ARCHI, DEEPANWITA MARTIN RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 31 MINUTES
Set in the backdrop of the scathing consequences of climate change, an impoverished ambulance driver Saiful staggers between two wives while he sets out on a bone-tired journey of moral decay, murder, deception, and social bashing.
No Ground Beneath the Feet is the International Feature submission for Bangladesh. Set in the busy streets of Dhaka, the film focuses on Saiful, an impoverished ambulance driver, who’s married to two women: Monowara and Mina. As Saiful works endlessly picking up patients and driving them to hospitals, both women find themselves in a terrible predicament and they both desperately need Saiful's help.
Due to having pre-marital sex, Monowara’s brother and mother forced Saiful to take her as a second wife. After ignoring her phone-calls for over a month, Monowara is demanding him to pay her $200,000 for compensation because of the marriage. His boss though hasn’t paid his salary in over two months, and as Saiful struggles to make ends meet, he’s unable to pay anything despite the constant threats from the family. Mina, on the other hand, is facing another problem. Due to rising waters from the Teesta River, Saiful’s first wife, along with his parents and children are at risk of losing everything due to flooding. They need him to take a leave from work to come rescue them.
Life in Dhaka has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Poor working conditions, low pay, overcrowded streets and an increase in violence has plagued the capital. As Saiful picks up patient after patient, he overhears the stories from his passengers. Rape, murder, suicide, abandonment of the elderly are all too frequently heard from the backseat of his car, as he races to the various hospitals around the city. His own problems begin to mount up as well. Unable to find a place to live Saiful squats from place to place, while he gambles away in hopes to winning some easy money. He’s the victim of theft. He’s the victim of violent crime. He’s the victim of harsh beatings. And he’s just one of thousands of people who turn to desperate measures in order to survive. The film showcases a society in a state of total collapse.
Climate change has also caused severe weather changes in Bangladesh. The country is known as being the land of many rivers, and as a result it’s very prone to flooding. 80% of Bangladesh is situated adjacent to a river, and combining that with the frequent bursting of river banks, millions of people are severely at risk, and thousands of villages are constantly in danger. As the water levels continue to rise, food and drinking water disappear, along with medical care. And the outcome is looting, violence, crime, and the increase of more deaths.
With no ground beneath their feet, the living survivors struggle to bury the dead, being forced to say goodbye to loved ones unceremoniously floating them away in the swirling floodwaters.