Experimental and Avant-Garde : Azerbaijani Cinema

Azerbaijani Cinema

I'm currently trying to watch at least one great film for each country in the Middle East. As someone who, so far, has only dabbled in exploring World Cinema, I've been quite pleasantly surprised by how easy it's been to find films for certain countries, like Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia. Filmmakers like Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Tengiz Abuladze, and Sergei Parajanov have given me fascinating glances into their cultures and have opened my eyes to totally new manners of storytelling. Other countries though, like Cyprus and now Azerbaijan, have given me some trouble.

When I came to Cyprus, I had to settle for Attila '74, a documentary that probably wouldn't be described as a "classic" by anyone. It seems to be the most noteworthy film to come from that country though, since its director, Michael Cacoyannis, has gained quite a bit of esteem for his other work.

Having just watched The Plea by Abuladze and The Color of Pomegranates by Parajanov, I had been hoping to find a similar art house type film for Azerbaijan. However, it now seems that very little of note has ever come out of that country.

The genre of film isn't all that important to me. Although it would be fun to do a series of comparable films for Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, my tastes are pretty varied. I'd just like to know if anyone has a recommendation of any kind.

It may be that there's some great Azerbaijani film that I haven't uncovered yet. Or it may be that I'll have to settle for something like Attila '74 - notable for the country, but not particularly notable worldwide. Either way, I'm looking forward to learning a little bit about Azerbaijani cinema! :)