Girish Karnad’s first solo direction is a violent rural drama about rivalry between two villages as seen through the eyes of a young boy, Kitti (Nataraj). The boy, who is temporarily staying with his uncle Chandre Gowda (Puri) and aunt Kamali (Nandini), notices his uncle’s secret visits to his mistress in the next village. This affair escalates into a larger confrontation between Chandre Gowda and his rival Shivaganga (Lokesh), which eventually leads to violence, the death of Aunt Kamali and the arrival of the police. The boy cannot distinguish the specifically man-made violence that surrounds him from the more primeval threats presented by the dense forest which, according to legend, contains a killer bird that calls out its victims by name. In a fantasy ending, the boy imagines the bird calling him and he follows the call, ignoring the frantic voices of his parents who want to take him home. Shot by Nihalani and starring Amrish Puri, both key figures in Shyam Benegal’s cinema, the film anticipates many conventions later associated with Benegal-style ruralism. Karanth did the art direction as well as the music while T.S. Nagabharana designed the costumes.