Yugantar Film Collective
Yugantar Film Collective founded by Abha Bhaiya, Deepa Dhanraj, Meera Rao, and Navroze Contractor in 1980, Yugantar made four pioneering films. Working collaboratively with existing or ensuing women’s groups Yugantar forged novel filmmaking practices, and political vocabularies that still resonate today.
We will be screening four short films that exemplify these sensibilities.
‘Molkarin’ exposes the oppressive working conditions of thousands of domestic workers in Pune. Through re-enactments of significant moments of the original process of unionising, the film narrates the coming together of women workers and union activists to form the Pune Shahar Molkarin Sanghatana (Pune City Domestic Workers Union) to fight for their rights.
Tambaku Chaakila Oob Aali
‘Tambaku Chaakila Oob Aali’ traces the history and strike actions of the all-women trade union of over 3000 tobacco workers in Nipani (Karnataka). It was made in collaboration with female tobacco factory workers. The film documents re-enact and take forward one of the largest movements of unorganised labour of its time and context which sparked unionising processes across Karnataka and Maharashtra throughout the 1980s.
Idi Katha Maatramena
‘Idi Katha Maatramena’ is an improvised fiction film, 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 that had focused extensively on dowry death.
Lalita, the female protagonist, is a working woman who studies and runs a household, who is crushed by the many demands on her, including having a boy child. With ‘Idi Katha Maatramena’, Yugantar’s third film, the collective shifted to a fiction format and collaborated with another collective of mainly middle-class women.
A portrait of Sudesha Devi, a woman who is a village activist in the Chipko forest conservation movement in the foothills of the Himalayas. Here people’s livelihoods depend on the forest which is threatened to be destroyed by powerful timber traders. While men work away from home and alcoholism is a problem, women carry out most of the labour. They also became active agents of the Chipko movement. Sudesha navigates family life, the strenuous terrain of the mountains, and living her life through protest which also brought her to prison.
With “Looking back; looking ahead,” we explore how filmmakers depict their present experiences, challenges, and the urgency driving their art.
Saturday, October 21
12:00 PM | Yugantar Film Collective by Abha Bhaiya, Deepa Dhanraj, Meera Rao and Navroze Contractor
3:00 PM | Something Like A War by Deepa Dhanraj
6:00 PM | Masterclass with Ashish Rajadhyaksha on his book “John -Ghatak -Tarkovsky: Citizens, Filmmakers, Hackers”
Sunday, October 22
3:00 PM | Chardi Kala by Prateek Shekhar
6:00 PM | Insides And Outsides by Arbab Ahmad
G5A presents Cinema House: an opportunity to celebrate the experience of collective film viewing. For one weekend a month, our black box theatre transforms into a single-screen theatre dedicated to independent, regional, and contemporary cinema.