ADAM CROMWELL AND MARK REID, Special to The Denisonian—“Made in Bangladesh” does an immaculate job at portraying issues of gender, poverty, class, and labor in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as well as all of the roadblocks in trying to solve them.
Shimu Akhtar (Rikita Nandini Shimu), a textile factory worker, develops more strength and determination to fight for her rights after a fire killed one of her coworkers at the factory. She met Nasima (Shahana Goswami), a worker’s advocate that helped her through the process of forming a legal union.
Shimu takes that passion to her workplace and, against all odds, works on forming the union with her peers.
After humiliation, job loss, sexism, and abuse, we still see Shimu and her group remain resilient. Tensions arose not just in her workplace, but also at home, as her husband could not stand being dishonored for his wife’s actions. Their union application is overlooked even in the bureaucratic setting of the Ministry of Labor, yet Shimu does not let anything stop her from getting it approved, knowing full well the severe consequences if it fails.
This drama is truly a testament to the power of women and unionizing for equality, and demonstrates the risks that come with that in the Bengali community.