Film screening


An American perspective on the Bangladesh Liberation War (then East Pakistan) in 1971. 

In 1971, Bengalis in the Eastern wing of Pakistan demanded independence. A humanitarian crisis and an international war swept the Bengal Delta while a military dictatorship cracked down, leading to the birth of a new nation: Bangladesh.

Blockade shows how a group of American and Bengali activists protested against the U.S. government’s military and economic support for Pakistan’s army during the war by staging a non-violent blockade of Pakistani ships in East Coast ports. In canoes and dinghies in front of oceangoing ships, their activism eventually forced some of the ships to return empty. Drawing upon rare archival images of the protests and interviews with key activists, Blockade offers a powerful reminder of the lengths that ordinary people around the world go in order to stop violence.

Director: Arif Yousuf
Arif Yousuf lives in New Jersey and works in New York as an IT Executive.


We will watch the film (85 minutes) and then have a discussion with the visiting director, Arif Yousuf, moderated by IIAS Fellow Sanderien Verstappen. Afterwards, IIAS will provide drinks.

Registration is appreciated, by e-mail to Sanderien Verstappen: