Afia Pina | Bangladesh | 2018 | 4 mins


“Butterfly, don't let others own your life.”



Nishi starts out life as a happy and ambitious young woman, but as time passes she’s burden with the expectations society places on women. 

The story

A young, vibrant and ambitious woman hopes for a life full of excitement and a satisfying career. Nishi dreams of studying away from her family home, living free from the expectations of society. She works hard to become a successful filmmaker, but her career is cut short when the time comes for her to marry. She becomes burdened by life as a homemaker and in return her family comes to think of Nishi as a burden herself. Time slips away until, finally, it’s too late for Nishi to chase her dreams anymore. 

About Afia Pina

Afia Pina has been working in children and youth-focussed media since 2014, when she joined Kanastara, a project of Free Press Unlimited. As a senior reporter at Kanastara, Pina created stories for children that addressed problems they may face in relation to education, health, rights and responsibility. She aims to help children tell their own stories and find a way to voice opinions about the issues that affect them. 

Prior to reporting for Kanastara, Pina completed a degree in Media Studies and Journalism at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. She has also worked at national daily papers as a features writer and as a creative executive at a creative agency.

This is her first fictional film and her first time working with animation. 


Director’s statement

The idea behind this film is very old. Women always sacrifice their dreams and their hopes to make other people happy and society always teaches us that being a ‘Good Woman’ is very important, but the definition of being a good women is very vast and unachievable. 

My mother had to leave college when she got married. Afterwards, she couldn’t get back to her studies and there were too many struggles in her life; she sacrificed a lot for my father’s family. Now she is 50-years-old, and if I ask someone from my father’s family, like my grandparents or uncle and aunts to say some good words about her they can hardly find three to five words. However, if I ask them to say something bad about my mother they can say 100. So, no one can be perfect. 


This might seem like a story from the past, but the same thing is still happening right now.

A friend of mine graduated in economics and is very brilliant, but her husband wants her to leave her job and go to the village to take care of her in-laws. She said no several times and still her husband didn’t agree. He gave leaving notice to the owner of their house in the city without informing her. There’s nothing she can do: she can’t live alone and she can’t leave her husband because she loves him. 

I wanted to portray these things in my film and wanted to give a message to young girls that, at the end of the day, there is no one looking out for you; you have to take care of your life and your dreams.