Steppe Man

Azerbaijani movie “Steppe Man” (2012) directed by Shamil Aliyev and starring Salome Demuria and Bahroz Vagifoglu among others. It deals with the story of a shepherd living along in the steppes along with his horde of bactrian camels. The story starts with him (Bahroz Vagifoglu) as a kid with his father, (their mother shown only in the photo) and dealing with hundreds of camels and living a lonely life out there in the desert. Cut to present, Bahroz grows up, his father becomes old and eventually dies. Bahroz has no idea of civilization, he is stunned when the cleric prays for his father’s departed soul, having not known any of these rituals. He lives a rough life with his camels, and the steppes with only the noise of the camels, birds & insects assailing him. In comes a girl Salome running away from a soured love affair with another man. She comes into his small house and stays there cleaning the house, his clothes, the glass etc. making meals and helping with the animals. Bahroz is initially wary of her, but becomes accustomed and falls in love. Shamil Aliyev has done a good job with the camera work, direction, sound, music (which is very good), cinematography could have been better with scope for showing off with vast open spaces. There were some close up shots of the double hump camels which was quite good, but majority were long shots. Both Salome and Bahroz have done good roles on the basis of what is expected of them from the scipt. This was Azerbaijan’s official entry to the Oscars of that year in foreign language films section, but was not accepted by the Academy.

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