…Day After is the second part in a trilogy of docu-drama travelogues from director Kamar Ahmad Simon. Following on from Simon’s first movie in the series ‘Are you Listening! (Shunte Ki Pao!), the Water Series looks to provide an intimate portrait into the lives of Bangladeshi people and their relationship they have with their environment. …Day After is set on a rust bucket steam boat called the Rocket. This jaded vessel has done thousands of journeys in its day and Simon sought to capture the life on an average cruise down the Buriganga river from Dhaka to Morelgonj overnight. Having taken the journey 22 times himself, Simon decided to follow multi-people taking the same journey down river to capture all walks of life.

Anyadin follows in the footsteps of other great intimate ethnographic work which seeks to merely observe, not interfere with proceedings. However his attempts to create a narrative with forced questions, moving from whimsical, flippant and organic conversation into more serious topics, can create some awkward moments and make it a more stilted experience.

As the director's camera winds its way through the corridors of the ship, we touch base with a number of different groups aboard the ship. We have loud, rambunctious students lamenting the state of the world, to a group of travelling musicians spinning a yarn of their travels. Running the societal gambit from an ambitious young journalist ambushing a politician, to a young bi-lingual vlogger filming his journey on his own camera speaking to his audience in a mix of Bengali and English. 

The film is bookended with extensive shots of the bowels of the ship. The rusted, cracked paddles of the steamer breaking the surface with ease. The boat, creaking and broken above the surface, struggling to keep up with the crowds gathering on its many decks. There is no doubt it would fail spectacularly any health and safety checks known to man! Yet it works like a charm.   

The water series is focused on the climate struggles and how the  country he grew up in, is developing in this new age of existential threat. Bangladesh might not exist in the next 50 years, so Simon is creating these films as a time capsule. 

The Rocket is much like Bangladesh itself, some may see the chaos and overcrowding on the surface, yet fail to see the beauty and functionally below the surface. The Rocket throws people from all walks of life together, creating a community all of itself. A cultural hotpot full of love, joy and music. Facing the existential threat threatening his homeland, Simon wants us to look past the rusted exterior and see the heart of the country he loves so much. Anyadin is an open invitation to live and experience the Bangladesh he knew. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Jamie Waddell