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Alias Kurban Saïd2004

  • 3.7
The hunt for the identity of a pseudonymous author leads extraordinary filmmaker Jos de Putter from Azerbaijan to New York to Italy in this "magnificent historical whodunit" (according to Variety), a travelogue through old films, crumbling letters and a minefield of religious and national identities. The 1937 novel "Ali and Nino" caused an immediate sensation on publication, due to its romantic Caucasus setting, Russian Revolution backdrop and steamy love affair between a Christian man and Muslim woman. Afterwards slipping into obscurity, it was recently rediscovered to much acclaim. The author, "Kurban Saïd," is a pseudonym; the mystery of who he (or she) really was is as enthralling as any novel, revealing a chain of seven or more possible Kurban Saïds, either Muslim or Jewish, German or Turkish, famous or not, and moving from the tea-pouring patios of Baku, Azerbaijan, to the scenic cliff-clinging cemeteries of Positano, Italy. As demonstrated by its feisty interviewees, ALIAS KURBAN SAÏD proves that a story (and, by extension, history) is still worth fighting for. - Jason Sanders

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Member Reviews (1)

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top reviewer

Who is Kurban Said? Most people don't care, but to others it is almost a matter of religion. ALI AND NINO is THE book for the Azerbaijan people and they care very much who gets credit for this classic. Having read the book, seen the wonderful movie Ali and Nino, and having read the book THE ORIENTALIST, I am as confused as everyone else. This film attempts to give an answer, but probably won't dissuade any one from their opinion. Still a wonderful story. fun.