Synopsis by Mark Deming
Elchin Musaoglu wrote and directed this drama of a youngster from Azerbaijan suddenly thrust into the world of adult responsibilities. Rustam (Hasan Safarov) is a fourteen-year-old boy who was born and raised in a poor neighborhood; despite growing up under difficult circumstances, he's been fortunate enough to have a stable and supportive home with loving parents. But Rustam's life changes when his father is killed in a run-in with gangsters; overnight he becomes the man of the house and has to find a way to support himself and his mother. Rustam has already run afoul of local hustlers like Edik (Rousan Agayev) and wants to stay on the right side of the law, but opportunities to make an honest living are few and far between. Rustam travels to the nearby city of Baku in search of work, and meets a band of percussionists who spark a dream of becoming a professional musician, but how can he make a living in the meantime? 40-ci Qapi (aka The 40th Door) takes its title from a folk tale of brave knight trying to save a princess locked in a castle with 40 doors, only to find the last one is impossible to open.