Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

23.06. "The Ice Cream Sellers" (2021) Film Screening and Discussion with the Director Sohel Rahman

23.06.2023 17:30-20h

Film Screening and Discussion with the Director Sohel Rahman

Organised jointly by GAMS, RePLITO and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Venue: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung e.V., Schumannstr. 8, 10117 Berlin

Free Entry


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“The Ice Cream Sellers” (2021, 75min)

A film by Sohel Rahman

The Ice Cream Sellers (75") tells the story of two little siblings and the genocide survivors of the Rohingya community who fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh after a brutal genocide. While most of the Rohingya people were exhausted from the weight of their trauma, the two siblings began their new life with hard work, selling cheap ice-cream door to door in the world´s largest refugee camp in a desperate attempt to earn enough money to bribe officials for the release of their father from prison in Myanmar. The film invites the audience to become a part of the journey of two children across the refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, just as the director himself was invited and received intimate access into their journey of life. The film portrays a story of tragedy and loss, courage, and suffering. On one hand, we have parents’ harrowing tales of their flight from their homeland, and on the other, we see laughter and the irrepressible spirit of the children.


Director’s note:

During the Rohingya genocide in 2017, a picture of a mother fleeing from Myanmar carrying two children on her shoulder touched my heart deeply. My mother does not belong to the Rohingya community, but what would have happened if she did? I imagine a situation where I am a Rohingya child, and my mother is running fast with all her energy towards the border while carrying me and my little sister over her shoulder to escape from a massacre.

I saw the Rohingya exodus arrive from Myanmar, crossing the River Naf into Bangladesh. The refugee camp is just a few hours from my home town, Chittagong. One morning I went to the refugee camp where I encountered many Rohingya people. Eventually, I met Ayas and Asia. I saw those sad eyes staring at the sky with thousands of words.

Making a film about the refugee crisis is not a new concept but in my view, the encounters and access into the lives of those Rohingya people make the film unique. As a result, it is a universal story of human tenderness and struggle rather than a conventional refugee film. I approach filmmaking from both an artistic and humanitarian perspective, incorporating my knowledge of literature, anthropology, and my life experience and background.

I hope that the film The Ice Cream Sellers will not only make a significant contribution to the

existing film world but will also help to stop the ongoing genocide in Myanmar and protect the Rohingya community from further violence.


2021 Winner 16th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival: Audience Choice Best Documentary

SAFF Montréal 2021: Jury Award Best Feature Documentary