Tahir i Zuhra Dir. Nabi Ganiev (1946)

Directed by : Nabi GANIEV (Наби ГАНИЕВ)
Release date in Russia : 16/11/1946

Plot synopsis
During WWII, the base of Soviet moviemaking operations shifted to the east. Eisenstein shot his glorious Ivan the Terrible in Almaty, and there were many films shot in Uzbekistan. Including this glorious period piece, based on the Uzbek Romeo and Juliet. Takhir and Zukhra are childhood sweethearts brought up together at the royal court, only to be torn apart as teenagers when Takhir is banished from the kingdom. Shot in shimmering black-and-white by Daniil Demutsky, the great cinematographer who shot Dovzhenko’s Arsenal and Earth, with eye-filling sets and costumes, TAKHIR AND ZUKHRA is a feast for the eyes and ears, with the magicaly beautiful Gulyam Aglayev and Yuldus Rysayeva as the enchanted lovers (it’s hard to say who’s prettier, Takhir or Zukhra) and Bollywood-style musical interludes in the bargain.
Source : http://www.seagullfilms.com

Saw this classic at the Walter Reade Theater during the 2003 Central Asia Film Festival. It was fantastic! In the 40s-50s turbans and tragic love stories were all the rage! The Soviet Union had the same cravings as the U.S. and Bollywood for similar films. Except of course, rather than Arabia it was Central Asia that was the “orient” for them. This is a great follow up to the Hoja Nasruddin film. Alas, where do I get this film?!

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