Before you were my mother

Nepal/ India


62 min

Ibemhal, 59, left her home in Manipur and moved to Nepal after her marriage. She now lives in New York. Her life has been dedicated to raising her two daughters while trying to find her own identity in new places. Ibemhal’s eldest daughter, 30-year-old Prasuna, longs to understand her mother, the person. Who is Ibemhal beyond her identity as a mother and a wife? What was her life like in Manipur? Their bond has been shaped by the conflict-ridden socio-political environment in which Prasuna was raised, Nepali society’s patriarchal expectations, and years of living apart. When Ibemhal returns to Nepal to visit Prasuna in 2020, they take a trip to Manipur to visit Ibemhal’s mother.

This 73 minute-long deeply personal observational documentary explores the relationship between mothers and daughters and unearths layers of their childhood, youth, and past traumas. Prasuna tries to come to terms with the differences she has with her mother and seeks a way to define her own life.

Original Language

Nepali/ English/ Manipuri


Prasuna Dongol


Prasuna Dongol


Bibek Gurung


Bikash Bhujel


Prasuna Dongol


Digixel Inc.

About the filmmaker.

Prasuna Devi Dongol is a documentary filmmaker and co- founder of Nepali Female Filmmakers. She is a British Council mentor for a young filmmakers programme, Camera Sika, associated with Into Film. Her documentary Dolpa Diary won Best Adventure Mountain Film in 2018 and Best Woman Filmmaker in 2019. She received a grant from Film South Asia in 2019 to produce a documentary about visual depictions of women and sexual violence in South Asia.  She is a 2021 One World Media Global Short Doc fellow. Her debut feature film, Before You Were My Mother, premiered in April 2022. Dangol is part of a Film Development Board support group to develop a national film programme for young people.

Prasuna Dongol

[email protected]