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KYA HUA IS SHAHAR KO? explores the processes of political maneuvering which led to the Hyderabad communal riots in 1984. The city’s history, the provocative speeches of its politicians and the instrumentalisation of religious processions stands next to the testimonies and the striking visual accounts of the Old City’s working class – those who lose their livelihoods through violent attacks and long periods of imposed curfew. The film is pioneering in recording and analyzing the rhetoric and visual expression of Hindu nationalist and supremacist politics. Initially shot for the local communities in Hyderabad, its courage in capturing the ensuing violence combined with its respectful lyricism and contemplation, enhanced through Navroze Contractor’s camera work endows this political documentary with an acute contemporary relevance.

Deepa Dhanraj founded the Yugantar film collective (1980–83) and continued to make numerous short, and feature length documentaries, often closely connected to Indian feminism.

KYA HUA IS SHAHAR KO? (What Has Happened to this City?) Deepa Dhanraj, India 1986, 95 min

Bonus material Video interviews with Deepa Dhanraj as well as Keshav Rao Jadhav, Vasanth Kannabiran, Rama Melkote and Vithal Rajan; members of Hyderabad Ekta, political activist group and collaborators for the film (India 2013, 70 min). 24 page booklet (English).

DVD infos
Language: Hindi
Subtitles: English
Region code: code-free
System: PAL color
Format: 4:3
Running time: 95 min + 70 min Extras
Sound format: DD 2.0
Price: 16,90 €

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media