Drugaja schisn

The New Life | Das andere Leben
Fuelled by oil, modernity is spreading to the steppes. Blessed with nationalised black gold, the Soviet state of Azerbaijan is flourishing. And although a gale is raging across the Caspian Sea, it is now too late to reverse the achievements of progress.

The derricks are rising up alongside towers and minarets. Beneath them, the Soviet empire's first electric tram is running. Ten years after the foreign oil barons were driven out and the inhabitants are genuinely benefiting from country's natural resources. All the modern achievements are proudly presented: literacy courses for women, engineering courses, modern housing estates, day nurseries, seaside resorts and festive parades.
Zhelyabuzhsky, the director, presents modern Baku and its inhabitants as the boom town of the East. In 1930, this festival film, made for the tenth anniversary of the state mineral oil company, crowned an entire film cycle. At long last, attention is being focused not only the technology but also on the people of Azerbaijan. They evidently still have to become accustomed to all the novelties of a “different way of life”.

Print courtesy of The Russian State Documentary Film & Photo Archive, Krasnogorsk
by Juri Scheljabuschski, Aleksej Dmitriew UDSSR 1930 72’