To Bariyat Muradova’s 100th anniversary. An interview with actress’ daughter Bella Muradova


It’s been 100 years since the birth of outstanding actress Bariyat Muradova, a People's Artist of the USSR, a laureate of the Russian Soviet Republic Konstantin Stanislavsky State Prize, a holder of lots of awards and medals, an actress beloved and respected by all peoples of Daghestan. Our correspondent met with actress’ daughter Bella Muradova.

- When and where was Bariyat Muradova born?

- She was born September 10, 1914, in Temir-Khan-Shura town, that’s what her ID says.

- Tell us a little about her parents, please.

- Her father Soltanmedjid was from Kadar. My grandmother Balakhanum was a Lower Dzhengutay native. In the WW2, her father was killed. Mom was only four years old. Her mother was left alone with three small children and the most terrible and painful years ahead to eventually see her sweet-voiced 21-year old Bariyat become the first People's Artist of Daghestan.

- Bariyat Muradova showed over 200 characters on stage. What characters were more like her?

- It's hard to say. Those were different characters. The strong and powerful Tankabike in Mustai Karim’s play, the tragic and doomed Susanna in Shervashidze’s "Namus", the funny and ingenuous Djumayssat in "Molla Nasreddin", Shakespeare's Juliet or the poetic Gulkyz in Salavatov’s "Aygazi". Mom never crammed scripts. She carefully read them, felt the character through, and performed improvising all the time, probably, that’s why her play was different each time. In recent years, she favored mother characters.

- And what was your mother like at home, with your family?

- I do not remember my mother raise her voice. She was really tired. Rehearsals, performances, concerts until late, endless touring – day after day, year after year. There were various musical instruments at home, but my mom never played them and never sang. She loved to listen to classical music. At those moments, we tried not to disturb her.

- How did you feel about your family discord, when your parents chose to divorce?

- We were hopeful that everything will be fine, and mom and dad will be together again. They would break up and come together. Something had always stopped them from gaining peace in the family. Living apart, dad still never forgot about us, his kids. In the early 70s, dad fell seriously ill. There was no one to look after him. Although they were divorced, mom would rush from doctor to doctor, buy medicine. But it did not work out, he was gone. Mom was the one to bury him.

- People of great talent are prone to all sorts of temptations like vanity and pride. Was your mother star-sick?

- No. It was easier for her to communicate with common people than with her superiors. She was not only a people's artist of the USSR, but also a Supreme Council deputy, worked in the Kremlin Palace. Our house gradually turned into a thoroughfare. People would think that an issue is easier to solve at home, rather than in the deputy’s office. Mom could never say ‘no’ to people asking for her help.

- There is a cliché: "Art requires sacrifice." Did it take your mother much to serve it?

- I quote her letter written shortly before she fell ill, "What is going on around? I cannot understand it and put into words. I sacrificed my all for the sake of the native theater. I am plagued by all sorts of enviers. The atmosphere in the theatre is just a tragedy. No one needs talents, no one needs art. I value the theater, I'm sorry for the theater. They do not know how to kick me out. I gave in notice, I can’t bear the insulting any longer." By that time, mom lived in a studio apartment on the fifth floor of an apartment building. It was very difficult for her to walk that high. The ministry of culture offered her an apartment to be built, but it didn’t suit mom’s needs.

In 1994, she fell ill, the terrible disease forever confined her to bed. There was nobody to help. There were poor utilities. There was too little money left. Her savings had disappeared from her bank account. I could hardly get her pension allowances. Even being delirious, my poor mother thought of her theater, asked to bring her clothes not to be late for the rehearsal.

- Would you like to collect all your mother's letters, documents, photos into a book?

- That’s what I do in my free time. I have not only the letters, photographs, documents, but also her diary wh ere she gave details of her childhood, youth, parents and relatives, theater and colleagues. I hope I’ll be strong and healthy enough to fulfill the idea.

RIA "Daghestan" Profile

Bella Muradova was born in 1940 in Buynaksk. She is the first Daghestani woman ever to get professional sculptor education. In 1962, she graduated from the Baku Azim-Zade Art College. Since 1965, she’s been a participant of republican, regional, national, and international exhibitions. She is a member of the USSR Artists Union and an Honoured Artist of Daghestan.

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