The documentary film “Objective Baku: How Hitler Lost the Battle for Oil” was screened in the House of Lords of the British Parliament on October 17.
The event was organized by Mark Menzies, British MP, Vice Chair of Azerbaijan All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) with the support of The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS).
Prior to this event, the European premiere of the film was held at the Musée de l’Armée in Paris in May, TEAS told APA.
Using digitally restored and colorized archival footage, the film details the bravery of the Azerbaijanis who participated in the war as part of the Soviet army to combat Fascism. The objective of the film is to show the role of Azerbaijani people in the victory over fascism to the world and to convey this historical truth to future generations.
This new documentary film entitled Objective Baku: How Hitler Lost the Battle for Oil, was produced in 2015 by Louis Vaudeville for CC&C Productions, in collaboration with Baku Media Centre, with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and was directed by Robert Mugnerot. The leader of the project is Arzu Aliyeva.
One of the most infamous pieces of newsreel footage to be shot of Adolf Hitler shows him – alongside various members of the Nazi hierarchy – eating a cake in the form of a map of the Caspian area, with the letters B–A–K–U spelled in chocolate cream, topped with a swastika flag. After enjoying the cake, Hitler commented: “Unless we get Baku oil, all is lost.” This was not a mere exaggeration – the oilfields of Baku accounted for 80 per cent of all Soviet resources, being pivotal to the success of the Soviet Red Army, and Hitler even specified the date of 26 September 1942 as that designated for the capture of Baku.
Addressing the event, British MP Mark Menzies said that the documentary talks about Azerbaijan’s role in the momentous years of World War II.
“In Great Britain—as in most of Europe—details of the war in the East are unnoticeable. This documentary, to a certain extent, explains the role of Azerbaijan and its citizens. As the Vice Chair of Azerbaijan All-Party Parliamentary Group, I’m most pleased to present this documentary as this Group is working to strengthen relations between Great Britain and Azerbaijan,” the MP said.
Composed entirely of archive chronicles, the documentary took the viewers by surprise as it mentioned Azerbaijan being the birthplace of mechanized oil extraction, the city’s residents being dressed up nicely, and its portrayal as the Paris of the Caucasus that reminded Stockholm, Paris, Moscow, and Warsaw.
With the timing of 52 minutes, the color documentary's shooting took place in the course of 14 months. While working on the documentary "Targeting Baku. How Hitler Lost the Battle for Oil", 200-hour video material, as well as numerous photos and other documents were examined in archives of Azerbaijan, Germany, the Great Britain, France and Russia.
In the film, video materials reflecting different battle scenes - so far not shown - are presented in a restored color format.
Along with Azerbaijani, the film has been translated into the Russian, English, French, German, Italian and other languages. The film’s first premiere was held in Baku in May 2015 and displayed on the “RMC Découverte” and “National Geographic” channels.