Idhi Katha Matramena

Is This Just a Story?
This short improvised fiction film is affectionately called Yugantar’s ‘hit’ film. In the midst of the very active autonomous women’s movement in India, Yugantar collaborated with the research and feminist activist collective Stree Shakhti Sanghatana, provoked by an urgency to broaden discourses and political practice on domestic violence. Through an intense period of a consciousness raising style sharing of their own varied and multi-layered experiences of domestic violence, members of both collectives created a script that focuses on isolation and depression while also developing a complex female character in the process of articulating her situation and finding support in female friendship. Given the prescribed screen presence of female characters in other Indian fiction films at the time Idhi Katha Matramena radically expands the figure of woman as victim and subject. The film travelled extensively, spoke powerfully to diverse female audiences and sparked debates amongst feminist activists. Filmed within one week, with limited resources and enacted by members of the collectives, the film’s capacity to speak to multiple experiences appears equally strong today.

with Lalita K., Poornachandra Rao, Rama Melkote
India 1983 Telugu 25’ Black/White Documentary form


  • Lalita K. (Wife)
  • Poornachandra Rao (Husband)
  • Rama Melkote (Friend)


Director Yugantar
Cinematography Navroze Contractor
Editing Lawrence
Sound Deepa Dhanraj
Producer Yugantar
Restoration Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst

Produced by



The film collective Yugantar was founded by Deepa Dhanraj, Abha Bhaiya, Navroze Contractor, and Meera Rao in 1980. Between 1980 and 1983, during a time of radical political transformation in India, Yugantar created four pioneering films together with existing or ensuing women’s groups.


1981 Molkarin (Maid Servant); 25 min. 1982 Tambaku Chaakila Oob Ali (Tobacco Ember); 25 min. 1983 Idhi Katha Matramena (Is This Just a Story?); 25 min. · Sudesha

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023