The men of the Islamic republics in the Soviet Union's south refuse to participate in the Great Patriotic War. Instead they retreat to the impenetrable mountains. Sughra's husband is there too; their two sons are still with her. That is until the older one receives the draft notice. The Red Army prepares to take punitive action against the deserters.
In a remote village in Azerbaijan the children play war games, "for Stalin and the motherland". The adults see it differently: The Muslim population doesn't regard the Bolsheviks' struggle against fascism as their war. Traditionally nothing good has come from Russia nor the Soviet Union, whilst the Nazi terror is geographically far-removed from their everyday existences. The able-bodied men evade military service and hide in the mountains. Together with his mother and older brother Bakhtijar lives a life of poverty. The political commissar harasses the women and even rapes one of them. Bakhtijar's older brother secretly goes to the mountains. One day a police unit comes to the village looking for the hidden men. Employing poetic black-and-white imagery cameraman Ayhan Salar, also the film's German co-producer, sensitively captures the austere landscapes, whilst artfully making reference to classic war films from the 1960s.
Asif Rustamov, Ilgar Najaf, Roelof Jan Minneboo
Baku Media Center(Azerbaijan), Salarfilm (Germany), Arizona Prod (France)
Guillaume de Seille
Ilgar Najaf - He was born in in Ararat region of Armenian Republic (USSR). After ethnic conflict in 1988 he and his family was forcibly expelled from Armenia and became refugees. In 1997 he graduated the Azerbaijan State University of Arts, film director’s faculty. 2004 he established the film studio “Buta Film” where produced the number of films as a producer as well as director.
2000 “Shacks without shades”, documentary film / Prize of the Baku Youth Festival 2002 “There exists an old man”, documentary film 2009 “Theatrical Life”, short film (Silver Remi Award at Houston WFF) 2011 “Buta”, Debut feature film 2017 “Pomegranate orchard”, Second feature film