Author: Valentina REZNIKOVA
Structure of the Moment. This was the title of an auteur film by Rasim Ismayilov, an author, film director, screenwriter, writer, and teacher, who died in 2004. After more than a decade following his departure, his colleagues and students decided to tell the world about him as a man who left a piece of his light on earth. This decision turned to be a documentary directed by Namig Shiralibayov, Rasim Ismayilov. Strokes of Life. The production of the film was initiated by the Internet channel KulturaPlus TV and presented to the audience of professionals in the Museum Centre of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Directors, artists, screenwriters, photographers, writers, and musicians gathered in the showroom. In short, everyone who is familiar with the achievements of Azerbaijani cinema and the works of the Grand Master. Before the actual screening of the film, fellow filmmakers shared their memories about the character of Rasim Ismayilov. It looked like a dialogue with the Master, who seemed to be invisibly present in the showroom, following the structure of the moment associated with explanations of love, recognition, gratitude, admiration and regret that the Master left so early. After all, this happens almost always with talented people.
Thirst for life
Rasim Ismayilov. Strokes of Life. There is a wise insight in the title of the film. Many peoples of the world have legends that the life of each person is a program of the Cosmos, which is doomed to materialise on the Earth for a certain period of time. Therefore, it always seemed that the Jews, congratulating each other on the New Year with "May only good things written onto you in the New Year!" mean exactly this moment, the moment of the program implementation; in other words, the higher design, destiny, karma, you name it… Indeed, we are the scribes of our earthly lives. We write it like a novel, splitting it into small stories of daily life. And this life is woven from relations with relatives, friends, colleagues, people. Sometimes even not familiar with us! And also from the affairs going along with us during our life time: big and small, important and not very much; from passions - professional, domestic, amorous, ambitious, etc. The film unobtrusively and gracefully narrates about the amazing man, whose passion was life itself with all its manifestations. Hence the sensation of light and harmony. In everything: in a relationship with others and profession. Talking about Rasim Ismayilov, associating his name with a prosaic word "profession" is somewhat embarrassing. Because such a definition makes everything that shaped his daily life mundane, thus putting a division line between a person and the work that person dedicated his life to.
The life of Rasim Ismayilov was that very occasion when the matter to which he served was the essence, meaning, style, and content of his life, a way of expressing his attitude to the world, to himself, his principles and ideals. One can see this by watching his films, which have not lost their artistic appeal and relevance until this day. His works as both a photographer and director are the most reliable evidence of his creative and civic position, human talent, his professional honesty, dedication to the professions of photographer, director, scriptwriter, writer...
Master and his Margarita
The feeling of love pierced Rasim's heart as soon as he saw a beautiful slim girl on TV. His heart trembled. Same as the heart of the Master in the famous novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. With the only difference that it happened in Baku on a warm day and a young intern Nadenka did not hold yellow mimosas in her hands. He immediately thought that this girl would certainly become his wife. So it happened. Their friends and companions including Eldar Guliyev, Rasim Balayev, Sergei Yursky, Ayaz Salayev, Ruhangiz Gasimova, his brother Rafis Ismayilov told about their love, family ethics, cordiality and hospitality traditions, about family and professional codes of honour. They told the audience what they knew: with a feeling of love and respect for what was part of their world, too. And it turned out that their life spent next to the Master was filled with a special meaning - understanding the purpose of life. All of them were links of a single chain. And the Master had his Margarita: a journalist, screenwriter, TV presenter Nadezhda Ismayilova. A woman who does not allow herself or anyone else to call her a widow. She is still his Wife and Friend... as Margarita never interrupts the dialogue with his Master. He is always there – at their home where everything is the same as when he was present, in her thoughts, in her heart. And she still finds him in the books, among the scribbled papers, short love messages he used to write to her...
She still keeps her husband’s diaries, an unreleased book about life in the cinema, an unfinished project for a big film about Taghiyev, unfinished diaries. Now his Margarita is trying to live for two: for herself and her Master. Perhaps, the story of their acquaintance, love and life is also a storyline for the film story or a great novel.
He has been in a continuous dialogue with the world and his own soul for more than forty years. Seven of My Sons, Nasimi, Babek, Leo left home, Asif, Vasif and Aghasif are only a small part of his work full of love and dedication to life, his homeland, historical memory. In 1990, Ismayilov made a film warning about future troubles. The film was called Trap. It was a question of overdue Armenian aggression. But unfortunately, the film was unnoticed. Nobody wanted to believe that it was possible. However, it happened. It is a shame that people have a nature of forgetting not only the lessons of the historical past, but also that at real artists have always been the heralds of forthcoming events...
Strokes of Life
Life is not all clear sailing in calm waters claimed the poet and was absolutely right. During 47 minutes, we can watch the whole creative and human life of Rasim Ismayilov. Tiny novelties of memories create a portrait of an artist-herald, who anticipates Life as Destiny. Person. Master. Artist. Citizen. Patriot. He did not become the past. Rasim Ismayilov is still in our present. The present, in which he rightfully has his own place - in the history of Azerbaijan's cinema art, in the hearts and memory of his friends, relatives, the people who knew him. This line in the history of his life has not yet been finalized. All those who preserve the memory of him as a Man and Artist write it. And the Master keeps talking to us through his works, because he still has something to say to his fellow compatriots advising them what to focus their minds and hearts on. What did he left materialised behind? His awards: the Lenin Komsomol Award of Azerbaijan (1972), the title Honoured Artist of the Azerbaijan SSR (1976), the State Prize for the film The Bay of Joy presented by the late Heydar Aliyev. He left us his films: feature and documentary, cartoons for children including Red, Black and Other, Stone, Speaking Lights, a series of satirical film novels for the Mosalan newsreel! We also have his tales written for his grandson and all the children included in the book Flying plane trees, Conversations about the cinema, as well as his students, whom he taught the art of photography and directorship, his family. It is also projected to publish the book Rasim Ismayilov. Diaries of the Lost Time. It turns out that the Master, who left us in 2004, is still in dialogue with all of us. His mission is still ongoing bringing his people the good, bright, and eternal. Maybe today, in the age of frenzied cynicism, moral substitution and destructive ideological games, information and technological wars, this uninterrupted dialogue is as important and necessary as ever.