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Film honors Italian missioner in Bangladesh
Published October 5, 2010

The life and works of an Italian missioner has been made into an 80-minute documentary produced by a private TV channel.

Local production house Lightstream in cooperation with Bangla Vision TV launched the film Father Marino Rigon: Venice to Sunderbans. About 150 people from various religions attended the Oct. 1 event which was held at the Bangladesh Liberation War Museum in Dhaka.

Father Theotonius Proshanto Rebeiro, chancellor of Dhaka archdiocese told ucanews.com that Father Rigon is the first priest to be the central focus of a Bangladeshi film.

Father Rigon was born on Feb. 5, 1925 in Venice. He completed his higher studies during World War II and was ordained in 1951 as a priest for the St. Francis Xavier Foreign Mission Society.

He came to Bangladesh in 1953 as a missioner and settled down at Shelabunia Parish in the Sunderbans, where he continues to work.

He set up about 50 schools in Khulna and Bagerhat and sewing centers to help poor unemployed women. During the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 he provided Bengali guerrilla fighters and displaced war victims with food, shelter and emotional support.

Father Rigon also translated 40 books of Bengali poets Rabindranath Tagore and Jasimuddin Mollah as well as many songs of the mystic and folk singer Lalon Shah into Italian.

He received a number of national awards and the Bangladesh government presented him with honorary citizenship.

During the film launch, many guests praised Father Rigon for his works. “I feel proud everytime I witness Father Rigon’s deep love for our culture. He is a good example of non-communal values and I humbly pay respect and gratitude to him,” said Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Muslim poet and a secretary at the Ministry of Information.

“Father Rigon is a man of harmony and even though he’s not Bengali by birth his heart definitely is,” said documentary director Robishankar Moitri.

Source: ucanews.com

 
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Father Marino Rigon (second from left) receive flowers from the documentary film producers
 
 
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