The Irrfan Khan-led Bangladeshi film Doob - No Bed of Roses, which was once banned in the country, has been chosen as its official entry for the best foreign language film category at the Academy Awards 2019.
Doob stars Khan — also its co-producer — as a filmmaker facing a midlife crisis when he has a tryst with his daughter’s childhood friend, causing a national scandal.
The India-Bangladesh co-production, written and directed by Mustofa Sarwar Farooki, features Rokeya Prachi as Khan’s wife, while Nusrat Imrose Tisha plays the daughter and Indian actress Parno Mittra plays her childhood friend.
Farooki had said he took inspiration from a real-life incident “which shook the very foundation of Bangladesh’s judgmental Muslim society” and “how women struggle in our society and find strength in despair”.
The film was banned in Bangladesh on the grounds that it might be based on revered real-life author and filmmaker Ahmad, who divorced his wife of 27 years and married an actress 33 years his junior.
The ban was eventually lifted and the film released in October 2017 in Bangladesh, France, India and Australia.
Bangladesh has yet to secure an Oscar nomination, though it has been sending entries to the foreign-language category since 2002. Last year, Bangladesh’s entry was partition-set drama Khacha.
The 91st Academy Awards will be held on February 24, 2019.