Accused of being an unfit mother by her influential husband, Banu fights for the custody of her son amid the chaos of the final days of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War. She has four days to find a single voice to speak on her behalf. Year of production 2022 Length 90' CountryAzerbaijan, Italy, France, Iran Shooting Format Digital Aspect Ratio 16:9 Dialogue Azerbaijani, Russian Director Tahmina Rafaella Producer Katayoon Shahabi Cinematographer Touraj Aslani Editor Mastaneh Mohajer Sound Design and Mix Ensieh Maleki Production Noori Pictures Associate Producers Henry Hughes, Massih Hayati Executive Producer Katayoon Shahabi Writer Tahmina Rafaella Sound Morteza Najafloo Production Designer Sebuhi Atababayev Production Manager Tarlan Babayev Line Producer and Location Manager Tofig Musayev Costume Designer Rufat Balakishiyev Make-up Artist Adelia Farukhova Visual Effects Sina Ghavidel Cast Tahmina Rafaella, Melek Abbaszadeh, Zaur Shafiyev, Jafar Hasan, Kabira Hashimli, Emin Asgarov, Zemfira Abdulsamadova, Kamala Israfilova, Deniz Tajeddin, Hajar Agaeva
Director's Statement Being Azerbaijani means knowing someone who was personally affected by the First or Second Nagorno-Karabakh war, and it also means knowing someone who was affected by a bitter divorce in which the woman lost custody of her child to a more powerful and wealthier man. I’m no exception to this phenomenon. Growing up in Baku, Azerbaijan, I struggled to fit in my society that was built on patriarchy and war, two elements that I believe go hand in hand. The aim of this film is not to take a political stance or to delve into the complex history of the decades old territorial conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Instead, I want the audiences to question the connection between war and patriarchy through one woman’s experience of fighting for the custody of her child amidst the war in which thousands of women lose theirs. In the end, it’s the future generations who lose; the cycle churns, oppressing even the boys it purports to cater to. It saddens me that to this day, there is not a single Azerbaijani independent feature film made by a female filmmaker. I feel immense responsibility to make a film that not only presents women honestly, but is able to offer a different perspective on war; one that has followed and identified us as a nation ever since Azerbaijan gained its independence from the Soviet Union. I believe that now, more than ever, we need to create art that puts a mirror to our societies, and shows us the destruction we’re causing to ourselves and the future generations. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, we’ve witnessed the rise of wars and hostilities among nations. At the root of it, what drives these wars and hatred is nationalism, a concept created and led by the driving force of the patriarchy. It is a vicious cycle that never ends, and we must do what we can to try to stop it. For me, it is by creating this film.