Kya Hua Iss Sheher Ko?

What happened to this city?
Director: Deepa Dhanraj
English (subtitled), 95 min, 1986, India
Kya Hua Iss Sheher Ko?
A still from Kya Hua Iss Sheher Ko?

A pioneering political work of contemporary relevance: Communal violence in Hyderabad between Hindus and Muslims in 1984 forms the starting point for this film, whose complexity lends it immense political force.

The film’s historical perspective is provided by a thorough commentary, which gives the camera’s particular presence the necessary depth and complexity. The mechanisms of political power struggles, the dynamics among those that hold power, and the instrumentalisation of economic relations and urban poverty make for a striking analysis, uniquely anticipating the subsequent development of communalist conflicts and the politics of marginalisation.

The immediacy achieved by filming just as violence is unfolding juxtaposed with calm observations of the devastating consequences of living one’s life during a state of emergency, thus reaching a level of respectful lyricism and contemplation that make the film much more than just a worthy reportage.

Kya Hua Iss Sheher Ko? was specially restored and digitized by the Living Archive Project of the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin. It was re-released in June 2013.

Producer: Deccan Development Society
Director: Deepa Dhanraj
Camera: Navroze Contractor
Editing: Maniam
Sound: Q. V. Somashekhar
Music: Navroze Contractor
About the Director:

Deepa Dhanraj is an award winning filmmaker who has been actively involved in the women's movement since 1980. Over the years, she has participated in workshops, seminars and discussion groups on various issues related to women's status - political participation, health and education.

Deepa has an extensive filmography spanning nearly three decades that include many series of films on education and health as well as award winning documentaries. Enough of this Silence (2008) , The Advocate (2007), Nari Adalat (2000), Itta Hejje Mundakka Thegiya Bediri Hindakka, a series of 12 films for elected women in Gram Panchayats (1995), The Legacy of Malthus (1994), Something like a War (1991), and Sudesha (1983), are a few of her films.

Her films have traveled to numerous film festivals world wide. Her film Kya Hua Iss Sheher Ko? was recently restored by the Arsenal, Berlin.

Posted by Magic Lantern Movies LLP on February 2, 2014
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