Ali and Nino are upper-class teenagers living in Azerbaijan just before the outbreak of World War I. He is Muslim, and she is Christian—but despite their cultural differences, they love each other and get married despite the disapproval of their parents. When Ali takes her to spend several months in Persia, she realizes how much her freedom is being constrained. The clash between East and West and between traditional Muslim life and the twentieth-century independence of her upbringing is very striking. Then the Great War breaks out, and things take a turn for the worse. A sweeping, politically charged love story, Ali & Nino captures a place and time rarely seen on screen. Director Asif Kapadia impressively shifts back and forth between documentary and fiction filmmaking styles. His documentaries, Senna (2011 Sundance Film Festival) and Amy (one of the most successful and acclaimed movies this year), and his fiction films including The Warrior prove he is a master storyteller in any genre.
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