In 1920 the Soviets broke Azerbaijan’s democratic republic and started incorporating the country into their Communist project. Loyal to Karl Marx’s vision of religion as “the opium of the people”, the Bolsheviks cracked down on religion and replaced it with atheism - and their ideology.
From its early stages, the USSR destroyed religious buildings or stripped them of their functions and used for other purposes. At the fall of the Soviet Union, however, not all of the surviving “houses of God” returned to their original function - for some it was just too late.
Filmmaker Tural Haji takes his camera in three former shrines in three cities - a mosque turned into an office in Baku and two churches which are now a theatre and a library, respectively in Ganja and Goygol - to explores what people working in them feel about those walls’ past.
August, 2018 Religious Beliefs