Under Construction / Narrative Feature Drama / 88 min / Bengali / 2015 / Bangladesh


“Under Construction is delicate, dynamic, in less than 90 minutes perfectly balances every branch of its tale, highlights the line between reality and unreality with never annoying quick stereotypes, always bound to their director’s vision. Her touch is everywhere and the film is suitable for multiple views, maybe enough to see the sky of Dacca stripped of its long cranes.”

Fausto Vernazzani / easternKicks


Under Construction is about a middle class Muslim woman struggling to find herself in the sprawl of urban Bangladesh. Theatre actress Roya suffers from her husband’s wish for children and traditional life. Not interested in motherhood, she decides to reconstruct a famous and politically minded play for modern times, reclaiming her identity, her freedom and her sexuality in the process.

In bengali •French •German •Spanish
Portuguese •Polish •Hungarian •Italian
English •Russian •Croatian •Swedish


Roya, a modern middle-class Muslim woman struggles to find herself in the sprawl of urban Bangladesh. After being replaced by a younger actor for the character of ‘Nandini’—the epitome of Bengali womanhood, the central character of Rabindranath Tagore’s political play ‘Red Oleanders;’ she delves into a psychological journey and battles to reconstruct ‘Nandini,’ reclaiming her identity and sexuality in the process. As she sets the play in a modern day ready-made garment factories in Dhaka; her journey to establish her individuality as a middle class woman is juxtaposed with the journey of her teenage housemaid Moyna, who later joins the industrial workforce.


Seattle International Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival
International Film Festival of Kerala
São Paulo International Film Festival
Stockholm Film Festival
Locarno Film Festival - Open Doors

Prix du Jury International, Mentions spéciales de la
critique and Prix Emile Guimet, FICA Vesoul
Best Emerging Director Award, NY AAIFF
Best Audience Award, Dhaka IFF

Rubaiyat Hossain

writer, director, producer


Rubaiyat Hossain is one of Bangladesh’s handful of female filmmakers, known for her debut feature film Meherjaan (2011) which faced political and cultural wrath in Bangladesh for its anti-war narrative, and its critic of masculine nationalism from a feminine point of view. Her second feature Under Construction premiered at New Directors Showcase at Seattle International Film festival and was theatrically released and well received in Bangladesh in 2016. Hossain uses a feminist lens to deconstruct the otherwise phallocentric institution of cinema. Currently she lives between Dhaka and New York making films and attending Tisch School of Arts at New York University in Cinema Studies.

Meherjaan, 2011
Under Construction, 2015


The film revolves around the theater actress Roya’s journey in trying to reinterpret The Red Oleanders. She challenges the representation of the woman in the play and wants to make her contemporary ... read more

Director Rubaiyat Hossain relocates the play ‘Red Oleanders’
to the ready-made garment industry.

Akshaya Pillai / Scroll.in

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