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The Clay Bird Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

... done with conviction for the long-suffering people of Bangladesh.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A-

September 1, 2006
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...it has about it the resonance of truth as well as a gentle equanimity

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: A

December 31, 2004
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Clay Bird is beautifully photographed, and the central story is compelling but, too often, the characters feel like stick figures being manipulated to prove the movie's valid, but obvious, point.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 2/4

August 26, 2004
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
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Has a kind of twofold eloquence.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

August 20, 2004
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The earthy imagery is delicate while the drama is oddly elliptical, creating a lovely film of storybook images and parables.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: B

August 19, 2004
Eric Monder
Film Journal International

While The Clay Bird might be a bit too restrained for its own dramatic good, at least the film sheds light on a significant part of world history in a way relevant to contemporary viewers.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

August 8, 2004
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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It's a beautifully simple portrait of a country in ferment and a family struggling to define its soul.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 4/4

July 30, 2004
Paul Sherman
Boston Herald

There's just not that much genuine conflict to sink your teeth into.

Full Review Source: Boston Herald | Original Score: 2/4

July 30, 2004
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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With compassionate restraint, Masud challenges the intimate link of religious fundamentalism to national power.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

July 16, 2004
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit

A slice-of-life movie set against the backdrop of Bangladeshi independence

Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Original Score: 2.5

July 16, 2004
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
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The filmmaker's clear empathy for his characters and close knowledge of his subject matter gives the film a vibrant authenticity that well compensates for any narrative flaws.

July 3, 2004
Howard Shapiro
Philadelphia Inquirer
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It has a quiet thoughtfulness that never comes close to being draggy, and a wisdom that is anything but obtuse.

| Original Score: 3/4

June 17, 2004
Marta Barber
Miami Herald
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Poignant and beautiful.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

June 11, 2004
Elias Savada
Nitrate Online

The Clay Bird is a incredibly humbling experience that you'd be a fool to miss.

Full Review Source: Nitrate Online | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 7, 2004
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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Subtle to the point of inscrutability, the 1960s-set The Clay Bird is a nonetheless compelling look at both the personal and social dynamics of a Muslim family living uneasily among Hindus in East Pakistan.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

May 28, 2004
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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The power of this quiet little film lies in the lyricism of its images of life on Bangladesh's waterways and in its towns ... and in the naturalistic performances from its cast of mostly nonprofessional actors.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

May 28, 2004
Ken Fox
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's a perfect title for a film that deals so passionately with freedom -- spiritual and political -- and coming of age, not just of Anu, but an entire nation.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 3.5/5

April 30, 2004
Jonathan Curiel
San Francisco Chronicle
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The phrase 'small gem' was made for a movie like this one.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

April 30, 2004
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Written by Masud and his wife, Catherine Masud, the script is intelligent and affecting.

| Original Score: 3/4

April 30, 2004
Jordan Reed
Boxoffice Magazine

Largely a documentary filmmaker, Masud may need a few more features under his belt before his work has a consistent flow.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/5

April 30, 2004
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