By Sundaram TAGORE


Art - Culture - Post-Production 2017

Rising from the rice of fields of Bangladesh stands an architectural wonder. Testament to an American artist’s humanist vision and to a nation’s fight for independence, the National Parliamentary Complex in Dhaka, commands the emerald landscape of one of the most chaotic countries on earth.

    • Year of production
    • 2017
    • Genres
    • Art - Culture, Historical, Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 108 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Sundaram TAGORE
    • Synopsis
    • Tiger City is a feature length film exploring the work of American architect Louis I. Kahn and the creation of what is considered his magnum opus, the National Assembly Complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh amidst that nation’s liberation war.

      The film animates the story of Bangladesh’s independence movement, offers unprecedented footage of an architectural feat and conveys the deep humanism that founds both the Bangladeshi spirit as well as Louis I. Kahn’s artistic vision.

      In the early 1960s, American architect Louis I. Kahn was invited by the then Pakistani government to design their Eastern capital in Dhaka (today’s Bangladesh). The capital building project was not just a grand gesture, it was intended as a conciliatory gift and as such, it needed to be magnificent. For a project of this scale and significance, the Pakistani government required a world-renowned architect.

      Louis I. Kahn’s meteoric rise from being an architect’s architect to achieving global stature in a relatively short period of time speaks volumes and is indicative of his architectural prowess. Kahn conceived a unique and provocative plan and the Bangladeshis upheld his vision, rejoicing in his ideals of the assembly of institution. After years of deliberation and planning, Louis Kahn’s Parliamentary Complex, called Sher-e-Bangla Nagor (City of the Tiger Bengal), began to slowly rise from the barren rice fields of Bangladesh. Artistically speaking, the Parliamentary complex is awe-inspiring. Kahn designed stereo-metric concrete cutouts, which hover between futuristic and ancient architectural forms. Considered to be his magnum opus, these buildings have provided a source of inspiration and wonder to a generation of architects the world over

      To uncover these intertwined histories, acclaimed art historian Sundaram Tagore meets with international architects, historians, and political figures, as well as individuals intimately tied to Bangladesh's liberation movement, Kahn's colleagues, and members of Kahn's family. Tagore retraces Kahn's steps to better understand how this humble architect rose to global stature and what force of will enabled the creation of an architectural wonder amidst the chaotic streets of Dhaka.