Directed by Academy Award® winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna),Ali and Nino tells the epic, heartfelt love story of two star-crossed lovers. (played by Adam Bakri, and Marie Valverde) in one of the most climatically beautiful films ive seen this year.
Set in 1914 at the brink of the great war, Ali is an educated young Muslim noble living in Baku, the bustling capital of Azerbaijan. Nino (is a Christian girl whose regal family hails from Georgia. Facing all odds against them, Ali proposes marriage to Nino despite familial objections, religious divides and the war, all of which threaten to keep them apart. As revolution brews and Azerbaijan seeks independence from Russia, Ali and Nino find themselves caught in a world of dramatic change where their love for each other is the only eternal spark.
Based on a 1937 novel, Kapadia captures the beautiful, sweeping Azerbaijani landscape, telling an enduring love story for the ages which starts off as a ‘oh I can see where this film is heading’ but quickly makes you realize that real life isnt always simple and throws many obstacles in the path of love thats is meant to be. to go into more detail would ruin the viewing experience of Ali and Nino but this film is a joy to watch.
Asif Kapadia has directed a film that took me right back to some of the most cinematic classics such as Lawrence of Arabia, The English Patient, A Passage To India and many more films that sprung to mind, not because of any story comparisons, but reminding me that cinema can be entertaining but also cinema can be a beautiful work of art.
Whilst filmmaker Asif Kapadia has completed many documentary projects over the recent years, it is wonderful to see him returning to a narrative film and yet losing no skill at all in telling us a ‘performed’ story compared to documentary storytelling. Definitely one of my films of the year and a film you should definitely check out.
Ali and Nino is out on release NOW