DE NIEUWE WILDERNIS_A3_DEF_nieuw logo Bever.inddBridging Two Worlds

This film charts the life of Motalib Weijters, a remarkable man at home in two contrasting worlds; Bangladesh and the Netherlands.
Motalib is born the son of a landless peasant, in Bangladesh’s remote southern delta. At just five years of age he runs away from home to escape his father’s beatings. Hungry and alone, he finds his way into the ranks of the thousand of children, eking out a living on the streets and waterways of the country. Wily and resourceful, he soon learns the tricks to survive.

Then, at just 7 years of age, he’s plucked from the street and transported to a new life – across the globe – in the Netherlands. In this rich new world, the street child adapts quickly, in fact thrives… racing through school and excelling at sport.

17 years later, Motalib and his girlfriend Ingrid, return to Bangladesh, in search of his roots and family. After six long weeks, they finds his mother frail and sick. Without thinking twice, they decide to help, and give the family all that they had. They return then to the Netherlands, to begin to raise more money.

In this story, that mixes hope, grit, and sacrifice with a good dose of humour, we relive Motalib’s extraordinary journey, from street child to village ‘father’ – and discover how, against all odds, a man finds a way to bridge two worlds. Over a period of eight years, the scale of his work has grown. What began as a bid to help his family, now brings new life and purpose to a whole rural community of nearly 400,000 people… in a land both beautiful and terrible… full of contradiction and promise.

Motalib’s example provides a model for others to follow. He shows that, even in the face of massive global problems, individuals can make a difference by listening to those affected and tackling their issues at their very source.

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Documentary: 56 minutes
Format: Region Free / PAL DVD
Language: Dutch & Bengali spoken, English subtitled 
Directed by: Mark Verkerk 

Produced by: Ton Okkerse

© 2007 EMS FILMS