Filmmaker: Togrul Abbasov

Since the dust settled

17.10.22

Nargiz Safarova was born and raised in Baku. It is difficult for her to live alone in Mehdiabad, a settlement 25 km from the city center. She moved to the suburbs after the demolition of her home in the Sovetsky neighborhood, where she used to live. She has not been able to go to her former neighborhood since the day she left. It is difficult for her to see the neighborhood where she lived for over 40 years and relive the memories of her past life. But one year after she moved away, she decided to visit the site of her old home…

Elena Mammadova is still unable to come to peace with the loss of her home in the Bayil district. She had inherited the home, where she could see the Caspian from her window, from her mother.  But the house was destroyed many years ago, and Elena has been homeless ever since. She has spent years seeking help from the courts and trying to endure the shock of not being able to pass the house on to her son.

Shirinbaji Rzayeva, a former resident of the Basin district, is struggling to restore her rights, not only for her lost home but also for her sons, who were unjustly arrested. Her house was her family.

The film shows the lives of these women, who spent so many years living in the center of the city. It documents how they lost their homes and how they survived afterwards. The women’s lives reflect the invisible face of the city, and their memories, joys and suffering illuminate its contours. The similarities and differences provide insight into the many identities of Baku. Their lives remind us of what is similar in all our lives — and how we are different.