Edition 20: 6-14 August, 2021

Balkan Dox

IMAGES FROM THE SIEGE - A NEWSREEL HISTORY OF COMMUNIST ALBANIA - IV

Albania
— 53 min

1

Synopsis

ALBAFILM (1990) (8 min)
Dir. Petrit Beci
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of most of the other East European communist regimes, only Albania continued to maintain the strict Marxist line it had followed for four decades. But faced with a tremendous economic crisis, the Kinostudio produced this fascinating, behind-the-scenes English-language doc attempting to interest foreign investors in the Albanian film industry, a move that would have been unthinkable during the Hoxha years.

SHEMBJA E IDHUJVE (The Fall of the Idols) (1993) (18 min)
Dir. Kujtim Gjonaj
This found footage compilation of Albania’s turbulent 20th century history is also a bitter and telling essay on the nation’s worship of personality cults and a warning of false prophets to come. Ironically, this anti-communist examination was made by Kujtim Gjonaj, who’d also directed DHIMBJE E THELLË, BETIM I MADH (Deep Grief, Big Oath), the doc glorifying Enver Hoxha, eight years earlier.

TINGUJ TË ZJARRTË (Sounds on Fire) (1991) (27 min)
Dir. Ardian Murraj
Shot in the transition period between the forming of Albania’s first opposition party and demonstrations calling for a democratically-elected government, this doc follows the excitement generated by a budding group of rock musicians prepping their concert debut, performing Dire Straits in an industrial factory.

Official Trailer