Prafulla Das

BHUBANESWAR: Almost seven years after the super-cyclone that ripped coastal Orissa claiming over 8,000 human lives, the trials and tribulations of its survivors have been portrayed in an Oriya feature film.

Kathantara (The Another Story) highlights the plight of Kalpana, a young woman who lost her husband in the storm. The narrative unfolds with the observance of the anniversary of the cyclone that hit on October 29, 1999.

Produced by Iti Samanta, editor of Kadambini, an Oriya monthly, the film is directed by Himanshu Khatua, whose debut film Sunya Swaroopa (Contours of the Void) won the national award for Best Oriya Feature Film in 1997.

Kathantara depicts the insecurity that dominated the minds of the Bangladeshi migrant families living in the coastal villages of the State. Many of these families were issued notices to quit India.

Kalpana, the lead woman character, who survived the super-cyclone, finally decides to marry the young Oriya man who saved her from death. Daughter of a Bangladeshi refugee who was born in Orissa, she approaches him after she is served with a notice to leave the country. Anu Chaudhury played the role.

The film shows the ordeals of Kalpana's sister-in-law Rupa, another survivor who is struggling with an abusive husband whom she married after her husband's death in the cyclone.

Kathantara provides a picture of the cyclone survivors taking shelter at the short-stay homes run by NGOs, adoption of children who lost both their parents in the storm and the media's role in the aftermath of the tragedy.

It was shot in the villages of Ersama block that was badly ravaged by the cyclone and hamlets of Kendrapara with their Bangladeshi settlers.