Synopsis

 After Davlatmand Kholof, the renowned contemporary vocalist of Tajikistan, invites her for a visit to Tajikistan, Shahzoda Nazarova, a Tajik journalist from Samarkand (in Uzbekistan) who has not been able to visit Tajikistan after the collapse of the former Soviet Union Republic, sets out on a trip to Tajikistan and visits different musicians and scholars and interviews them about Tajik music and dance. As she moves on, she joins Davlatmand Kholof in a journey to Koulab and Daghestan, Davlatmand’s native village, which is located near the Afghan border. Throughout this journey, we travel from the city to the village, from complexity to simplicity and from offspring to origin, which illustrates the fusion of tradition and modernism in the life of the Tajik people. Shahzoda speaks to Davlatmand, his family and other pre-eminent scholars and musician in an attempt to revisit the roots of this culture and recall her own identity as well.

 Through a description and depiction of Davlatmand Kholof, this film aims to present the culture and folklore music of the people of Southern Tajikistan. In Central Asia, music and dance has played a vital role in the social life of the people to preserve their rich heritage and literature. Davlatmand Kholof is a symbolic figure representing an integral part of a culture and a unique form of music, Falak, to convey the poetic and Sufi principles embedded in their daily life. Poems of the great Persian poets, Hafiz, Rumi and Mir Sayyed Ali Hamedani, who is buried in Koulab, are constituent elements of this music, which spans all walks of the social life of Tajiks, from their national feasts to their private and family celebrations. This film takes the viewers through a journey to Southern Tajikistan where this music and culture has been nurtured for centuries. In the meantime, we come to discover a different version of Islam, which is tolerant of dance and music and unlike their neighbouring country during the rule of the Taliban, has interwoven these traditions and arts into their religious understanding contributing to a spiritual interpretation of Islam.

 Tajikistan is among the poorest countries of the world, yet it contains some of the richest exotic traditions in music and dance. Due to its mountainous location and its geographical isolation in the world, little attention has been paid to this nation and the potentials it can offer to the global community. This film may serve as a humble step to bring into light the long ignored people of the mountains in Central Asia, who have much to present to the world of their folk life and culture.