Documentary cinema

My kith and kin

Genre: Culture and Education
Director: Rodion Ismailov

Duration: 63 min.

Historically, Russia has been formed as a multinational state, where traditionally many ethnicities have lived and now live in peace and consent. Today, due to internal and external reasons, a threat of conflict exists in the society, which feeds attitudes of alienation and malevolence otherwise not customary to our peoples.

We will show in our film that the multinational characteristic of Russia is a great historical achievement. Notwithstanding our previous controversial experiences, our history was nevertheless prevailed by creative potential, friendship and fraternity and not by offensives and conflicts.

Russians and Azerbaijanis live together for hundreds of years and, as a consequence, they have much in common in ways of life and history. A close proximity and intensive relations left their mark on international marriages. Statistically, Azerbaijanis more often marry Russian women.

This story is about 10-year old Lolita who was born to an international family and who travels to the motherland of her father to get to know her Azerbaijani relatives.

Lolita was born in Moscow. Her father is an Azerbaijani and her mother is Russian. Regardless of the fact that she feels herself Russian brought up in the Russian environment, she wants to know her Azerbaijani roots.

The scenario starts at Domodedovo Airport. Lolita is nervous because it is her first trip to Azerbaijan.

In the plane, she asks her father how to say some words in Azeri and writes them into her notebook.

Uncle Teymur meets them at Ganja Airport.

All relatives gather on the day of their arrival in order to celebrate it as a prominent event. Everyone tries to explain to her what his or her relationship is to her. She has hard time to understand them because she speaks only Russian.

The next day, all this big family goes to mountains, to the sacred place Khacha Gaya, where a sacrifice is to be brought in honour of her arrival.

After getting to know her relatives better, she begins to study the life of the village. Grandfather Shamil takes her to the school where her father studied. The school teachers tell her about her father when he studied and about his friends.

Her grandmother takes to her to the bazaar in Tauza in order to show her Oriental riches and teaches her how to bargain. She tells her that the bazaar in Azerbaijan is not only a place to purchase goods and food but also a place of socializing. It is not customary here to hastily buy things and go. First, one should walk through the entire bazaar a have a word with everyone and then do shopping.

During her stay she meets all father’s friends and acquaintances in the village and they tell her many interesting stories.

There is also a solemn but important scene in the cemetery where her grandfather shows her the great-grandmother’s grave and other graves of close relatives.

According to the tradition, everybody invites her to their home. Every day is very rich with conversations with numerous relatives. She has to visit every home and share their joys and sorrows.

Regardless that the action takes place in a remote mountain village, she is surprised to hear that they speak fluent Russian. Besides, she finds out that Russian Old Believers populate some villages in Azerbaijan.

My kith and kin is a film about love of the Azerbaijani land, of the local traditions, about how this love is relayed to younger generations and about inseparable ties of Russians and Azerbaijanis.

It says that today the modern multiethnic society of the Russian nation should stand on integration principles, when every citizen belonging to a different ethnicity, feels himself a Russian and is not malevolent to other ethnicities. All people are equal regardless of race, ethnicity, origin and customs. In fact, we are all unique if compared to each other.







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