The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center screened the colored and restored version of legendary Azerbaijani movie "Arshin mal alan" (The Cloth Peddler) on December 10.
New screen life was given to the popular movie on the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Before the film was shown, the audience watched video of a speech of National leader Heydar Aliyev made in 2001 about the film and the importance of its restoring.
"Modern technology allows us to restore the film in its original form," Aliyev said.
"This needs to be done by all means. The film "Arshin Mal Alan" is one of the greatest achievements in the history of Azerbaijani culture. Therefore, it should live forever. This film should live so that future generations understand how a great man was Uzeyir Hajibeyov, how a great director was Reza Tahmasib, and how a talented singer was Rashid Behbudov."
The film shot in 1945, is based on the same-name operetta, which is the third and last operetta of Uzeyir Hajibeyli, the great Azerbaijani composer. It was composed and staged in Baku one century ago, in 1913.
Over 16 million viewers have seen the movie since its first release, and until today, the film "Arshin mal alan" was shown in 136 countries and dubbed in 86 languages.
A number of versions of the movie have been made. The first version, a silent comedy film, directed by Boris Svetlov appeared in 1917, the second black and white version, produced during the Soviet period, was directed by Reza Tahmasib and Nikolai Leshenko. This version is considered the most successful one.
Famous singer Rashid Behbudov launched his acting career with this film starring as Askar. In 1965, a colored version of the film was also directed by Tofig Taghizade.
The movie satirizes social practices and traditions, particularly those related to the cumbersome practice of women wearing veils, and the consequences this practice had on the relationships between men and women.
The plot is centered on a young man named Asker who wants to see and choose his bride himself before marriage. Doing so, however, was difficult at that time because women were traditionally kept at home, and were heavily covered in hijabs when they went outside.
Asker's friend Suleyman suggests that he should dress up as a fabric peddler and go door-to-door, selling fabrics in order to meet women.
Asker falls in love with Gulchohra and asks her father, the wealthy Sultan bey, for her hand in marriage. Sultan bey agrees, but Gulchohra objects, because she is in love with the peddler. Eventually, she realizes that the rich businessman Asker is actually her beloved peddler and they get married.