Azerbaijani "The Last Jew in the Village" at Israeli Film Festival
International Film Festival "Near Nazareth Festival" kicked off in Afula, films from 65 countries participate in it. The festival is held with the support of the Department for Absorption of the Municipality of Afula. The organizers of the festival's opening are the Azerbaijan Cultural Center under the International Association Israel-Azerbaijan "AzIz" and "Tovushi" Center (USA), which make everything possible for the Israeli society to get to know culture and history of Azerbaijan and the life of Jewish community in Azerbaijan that settled in these lands many centuries ago.
Specially for this day, "AzIz" association, in cooperation with "Tovushi" Center (USA), the international charitable foundation "STMEGI" and the Center for Preservation and Development of National Traditions, Language, Cultural and Historical Heritage of Mountain Jews "Sholumi" released DVD of this film, which was presented to every viewer who came to the opening of the film festival on this day.
International Film Festival "Near Nazareth Festival" opened with a demonstration of documentary film "The Last Jew in the Village" by the Azerbaijani director Rufat Asadov.
The protagonist of this film named Meir Manashirov. He is the last Jew in Myugdi-Gaftaran village, which was once inhabited by a huge Mountain Jewish community.
As the director Rufat Asadov, who specially arrived for the opening of the festival,, said in an interview after the film, while starting this work, he was not thinking about some deeper meaning or supergoal. He just thought that the protagonist of this film is interesting - a man with difficult fate and clear life position.
Meir did not agree to participate in this movie for a long time, and only after numerous requests and persuasions he allowed to follow him with a camera.
"We filmed it for many months," the director said. "You will see both green grass and white snow in this film. We do not interfere with the protagonist, quietly filmed him, talked to him when he had a mood, and gradually obtained a huge and very interesting material."
It should be noted that our protagonist is not alone. He has a large family, children and grandchildren, living in different countries of the world. One of his sons, Rahim Manashirov, who lives in Israel, was among the spectators of the premiere of this film in Afula. It was obvious that everything that he saw on screen was a real eye-opener for him. He did not know that a film about his father was made.
As Rahim said, all children visit their father, often come to him. Each of the children would be happy if father moved to them, but Meir won't agree to leave native lands and leave village cemetery, where all his ancestors, friends and neighbors are buried.
Despite the fact that there are facts from the history of Jews of the Caucasus in the film, and there is even voiced version, which explains their name, "Mountain Jews", the topic raised in it has no nationality.
Why do I live? What is the true meaning of my life on this earth? What is my purpose? These questions are asked by each of us - Russian, Jew, Frenchman, Azerbaijani ...
And only a person who was born and raised in an atmosphere of tolerance, inherent in Azerbaijan, knows exact answers to these questions.