Above: Left: Sevil (1970) starring Hamlet Gurbanov as Abdulali bey and Safura Ibrahimova as Dilbar; right: Nasimi starring Rasim Balayev (1974).
Nothing escaped your attentive eye. Your work is the greatest proof. We all remember your camera work especially in films such as: "Life is a Good Thing", "My Seven Sons", "A Day Has Gone By", "Sevil", "Dada Gorgud", "Nasimi", "Babak" and "The Last Passage"
You worked on those movies alongside the brightest luminaries of Azerbaijani cinematography with film directors such as Husein Seyidzade, Tofig Taghizade, Hasan Seyidbeyli, Arif Babayev, Vladimir Gorriker, Eldar Guliyev and Kamil Rustambeyov.
As a token of gratitude for the outstanding achievements in the art of cinema, many of those films received the government's highest awards and recognition such as "Honored Art Worker in Azerbaijan", "Winner of the State Prize of Azerbaijan", "and Winner of the State Prize of Lenin's Komsomol". Yes, there even was an award like that during those days. You were also among the winners of the Soviet Union's Film Festivals.
But then you wanted to convey your vision and thoughts as film director and you accomplished that with equal mastery in works such as: "The Structure of the Moment", "A Business Trip", "I Loved You More Than Life Itself", "A Private Trip to a Berlin Hospital", "The Trap" and, of course, with the children best sellers, such as "The Lion Left Its Home", and "Asif, Vasif and Aghasif". Then there's "The Millionaire"-the project that you dedicated so many years painstakingly preparing. It still lies unfinished.
Left: Nasimi. Starring Almaz Asgarova as Shams.
The new day of Perestroika brought painful experiences to many artistic and creative people; but you were not unprepared. You continued to make films but concentrated more on documentaries, focusing on the problems of people - their hopes and the uneasy task of re-evaluating and embracing new values in life.
You were a professor in Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts where you were able to transform the knowledge and experience that you had gathered from the great director of photography and teacher Boris Volchek under whom you had studied at the Soviet State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow from 1959 to 1964.
How many wonderful gifts you have given our youth, who still have not made up their minds about what priorities they should embrace in life.
These beautiful creations were born out of your love, first for your only daughter Jamila, and then later for your grandchildren-Jamil and Sanan.
Below: Nasimi (1974).
With these fairy tales and paintings, you were constantly nurturing children as to the meaning of light and sun and kindness.
You have not abandoned us: that would be impossible because that which you have left us - your art - is eternal, immortal. You dreamed of skies: our greatest wish is that you will find happiness there.
Your friend - composer and playwright Ruhangiz Gasimova
May 10, 2004
This tribute was translated by Ruhangiz' daughter, Janana Suleymanli, who lives in Hong Kong.
Back to Index AI 12.2 (Summer 2004)
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