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Turning the Camera Back

Movies ‘You Are Not an Orphan’, ‘The Whole Mahalla Is Talking about It’, ‘Tashkent, City of Bread’, ‘A Little Man in the Big War’ has long been part of the golden fund of Uzbekistan cinematography. At the creative meeting in the Alisher Navoi National Library, the participants like turning the camera back, look at the one who is always behind the scenes, but without whom the movie is impossible.

On January 16, the People’s Artist of Uzbekistan, professor, film director Shukhrat Abbasov turned 86. This day he met surrounded by friends, colleagues and admirers of his creativity. Many warm words were addressed to the master of the national film industry. At the beginning of the event, the participants watched a documentary about the filmmaker. It turned out that his first work, popular both in our country and far beyond its borders, Shukhrat Abbasov began with a model scenario, written on two sheets. All sparkling humor of the film ‘The Whole Mahalla Is Talking about It’, turned into aphorisms was written just in two hours by Abdulla Qahhor. The scenario of another popular flick ‘You Are Not an Orphan’ was complimented by the director with various scenes, which he took from the life: these were the stories that he had seen with his own eyes.

Shukhrat Salihovich lost his father in his early age: there were hard war years, and all men were taken to the front. The young man had to start working at his 13.

“It was in the remote Muborak farm in Kashkadarya region. I worked as a shepherd, an apprentice of the master for the production of cheese, accountant, and even a driver trainee. There we received lots of seriously wounded people. I transported milk on the cart and gave it to the wounded. Once, a nurse asked me to play a small role in the performance. She said that she found little pieces in a magazine, which would like to play for people to lift their spirits. Of course, I refused, but there were no other men there, and I had to play a wounded soldier who returns home. And his wife has married another. From The disappointed man says, “Why did I fought and sacrificed my life, for the sake of what, to protect the traitors?” Apparently, I played plausible that one of the spectators became angry and hit me with his crutch on the head. He shouted: “How could you play this? I also want to go back to my wife, but you are killing my hope.” That place in my head still aches when the weather changes. But I learnt one thing, it is necessary always to make films with happy end, and give hope to the audience,” the director recalls.

This principle he followed all his life. Shukhrat Abbasov graduated from the directing department of the Ostrovsky Tashkent State Institute of Dramatic Art, then the advanced directing courses at the Mosfilm. He was the chief director of the Mannon Uyghur Tashkent Regional Theater of Music and Drama, for many years headed the Uzbekfilm Film Studio, and was the first deputy chairman of the Union of Cinematographers of Uzbekistan. He filmed a lot of movies that have become classics. To this day, he does not get tired to work devoting all his time to his favorite trade. In 2015, in tandem with his son Nozim Abbasov, the director shot a film ‘Dilor, Dilor, Dil va Or’ (Dilor, Dilor, Soul and Honor), shot by the order of the Uzbekkino Agency. Now the tireless and full of energy Shukhrat Abbasov works at the Dono Production film studio. He is busy with shooting a sequel ‘The Whole Mahalla Is Talking about It’ about present day life in ordinary mahalla (community).

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