The 15 Best Documentaries About Bangladesh

Jul 24, 2023 | Asia, Best Of, History

Bangladesh is a vibrant country full of life and culture, but it has also seen its fair share of turbulence. From natural disasters to civil unrest, the stories that have come out of this nation are often both heartbreaking and inspiring. Fortunately, there are many documentaries which capture these moments and showcase the beauty of Bangladesh. Here’s our list of 15 must-watch documentaries about Bangladesh that will give you an insight into its people, culture and history. So grab some popcorn and get ready for a cinematic journey through one of South Asia’s most fascinating countries!


1. Deadliest journeys – Bangladesh : Survive in chaos

In Bangladesh, life is the cheapest thing one can buy. Gazi is a prime example; he dives into the sewers of his capital city to collect gold despite exposure to wounds and dangerous chemicals that will eventually take his life. But, it’s a way for him to feed his family and offer them an escape from poverty. Religion plays an important role in helping people cope with their daily struggles – each year millions flock from around the country for one of the world’s largest Muslim pilgrimages. The resulting overcrowding on buses, boats and trains creates chaos as passengers hang off roofs and windows just trying to get there! Through all this hardship, Bangladeshis keep smiling through faith or self-sacrifice – making Deadliest Journeys: Bangladesh Survive in Chaos one of the best documentaries about this incredible country.


2. The Dark Side of Bangladesh’s Garment Industry

The tragedy that befell the garment workers of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2013 is a reminder of how little value we place on human life. This documentary examines the dark side of Bangladesh’s garment industry – from the unsafe working conditions to the forced labor and child exploitation – and shows us why it’s so important for us to demand better rights and protections for those who are most vulnerable. Through interviews with survivors, factory owners, policy makers, activists and experts this film sheds light on an issue that affects millions around the world.


3. World’s Most Dangerous Roads : Bangladesh – The Nawabpur Road in Dhaka

Welcome to Dhaka, Bangladesh – a land with the highest density of population in the world and an epicenter of chaos. In this documentary, we follow drivers on their dangerous journey through Dhaka’s streets that are congested with traffic and full of recklessness. We’ll explore the historical old town full of bazaars that offer every trade imaginable as well as witness how goods are delivered by river or land route via the Nawabpur Road. Join us on our journey to uncover what it takes to survive in such incontrollable madness!


4. Bangladesh: Between monsoon and dry season

This documentary follows Rahim Shorkar, a Chaura living on one such island, as he navigates life between dry and wet seasons. Through his story we see how these communities manage to survive despite constant flooding, but also witness the destruction caused by dangerous floods – like when his neighbor Shuruz Saman loses all his land for the sixth time in his life. We also follow Alea, Rahim’s wife who questions what future awaits her family here while they watch their six-year old son Ashik grow up amidst this uncertain reality. This film offers an intimate look into a unique way of life that is both beautiful and devastating at once.


5. Bangladesh’s struggle with flooding

The influx of internally displaced people into Dhaka has led to many taking up casual jobs like cycle-rickshaw driver Korban Ali who works 12 hours a day to provide for his family. The country also faces extreme pollution from its textile industry which dumps tons of toxic waste into rivers every day. Jahirul, educated in Australia, is trying to fight this environmental destruction by investing 10 million euros into recycling hazardous waste such as asbestos and batteries from shipbreaking yards. Watch this documentary and learn more about Bangladesh’s struggle with flooding!


6. How Bangladesh is Secretly Becoming the Richest Country In South Asia

The story of Bangladesh is one of resilience. Despite being deprived of considerable natural resources, facing catastrophic natural disasters and plagued by political instability, it has become the richest country in South Asia. This documentary delves into how Bangladesh defied expectations to rise from the ashes and become a thriving nation. Through personal stories and interviews with key figures, we explore what drove this transformation and discover how its people have managed to create a better future for themselves despite their difficult past.


7. Bangladesh: Beyond The Hidden Borders

Journey into the unknown with this captivating documentary about Bangladesh. Follow Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (rh), Khalifatul Masih IV, as he embarks on an extraordinary expedition to explore the mysterious and unexplored borders of this unique country. Discover hidden stories and uncover secrets that have been kept away from view for far too long. Get ready to be amazed by the beauty of Bangladesh beyond its hidden borders!


8. India/Bangladesh: The Traps of the Brahmaputra

The Brahmaputra River is one of the world’s most dangerous routes, but it also supports the lives of 100 million people who live along its banks. In this acclaimed documentary series, we explore how these individuals are changing their destinies and risking everything to transport goods on ancient trucks in order to supply remote villages. From the Himalayas all way to the Indian Ocean, come with us on a journey along some of the world’s most treacherous roads as we witness drivers navigating suspension bridges and brush past precarious precipices.


9. How the elite police force RAB terrorizes the people of Bangladesh

What happens when Bangladesh’s elite police force, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrives? Is it like death has come knocking on your door? This documentary investigates how RAB systematically commits murder, torture, and abduction with explicit backing from the highest political level. Two insiders of Bangladesh’s elite force share their stories for the first time ever! Learn about how US funding and sanctions have shaped this controversial unit. Get an inside look at a true story that will shock you to your core.


10. Bangladesh – Dawn of Islamism

Bangladesh is a country that has been faced with the challenge of reconciling democracy and Islam for many years. It was born out of bloodshed in 1971, when three million people were killed during its war of liberation. In spite of this, Bangladesh adopted secularism as a founding principle in its constitution. But tension between Islamist and secular forces remain high to this day, making it difficult for foreign investment to truly pour into the country – despite annual economic growth being at five percent or more over the past decade. This also explains why violent Islamic extremism continues to grow unchecked in Bangladesh, culminating in 2016’s deadliest terrorist attack yet which left 20 people dead including 18 foreigners.


11. Bangladesh liberation war: Untold stories

This documentary explores the untold stories of Bangladesh’s liberation war. It takes a deep dive into how India’s navy played an important role in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, and why Mukti Bahini was formed to fight for independence on March 26, 1971. Uncovering these hidden gems will shed light on this momentous event that marked Bangladesh’s history as an independent nation.


12. Climate refugees in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is facing an unprecedented crisis. Climate change has put millions of people at risk of displacement, with up to 20% of the country’s landmass disappearing beneath the water in just 30 years. In this documentary, we explore how these climate refugees are trying to adapt and survive against all odds. We hear their stories and look at potential solutions for this dire situation. Join us as we take a deep dive into Bangladesh’s climate refugee crisis.


13. Made in Bangladesh – the fifth estate

Bangladesh is a country that has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent years. In April 2013, an eight-story garment factory collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring even more. This tragedy brought to light the extreme working conditions and lack of safety regulations in Bangladesh’s garment industry. Watch this documentary to learn about how these conditions came into being and what can be done to improve them. Made in Bangladesh – the fifth estate documents how companies from around the world have reacted to this disaster and explores solutions that could help prevent such tragedies from happening again.


14. Maitree Express: A Friendship Train Linking India To Bangladesh

Be a part of an incredible journey with Bilal and Abiz, who board the Maitree Express, a train that links India to Bangladesh. In this three-part series about frontier railways in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan you will witness reunions of families separated by borders as well as discover how these trains are connecting cultures and histories. Feel the tension as they wait for permission to cross into India. Don’t miss out on this amazing experience!


15. Bangladesh In 4K – Land of Natural Beauty

This 4K ULTRA HD footage captures the natural beauty of Bangladesh, including its hundreds of rivers, crystal clear waters, and green hills. The country is also home to the world’s largest mangrove forest and the Royal Bengal Tiger. Enjoy this peaceful film accompanied by relaxing music and be amazed at all that Bangladesh has to offer! From lakes surrounded by lush greenery to tropical rain forests filled with wild life – explore it all through this stunning documentary.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B