In this film one perceives a great enthusiasm in wanting to tell one's country; the Albanians can easily be recognized in these young people proud of their culture, tied to their own traditions but with a look projected towards the future.
Made in Albania, the new documentary by Stefania Casini, was presented last Friday 18 January at the 24ª edition of the Trieste Film Festival. The director has been a successful actress, she has made films with Bernardo Bertolucci, Pietro Germi and Dario Argento, but she has been on the other side of the camera for several years now. He decided to shoot in the "land of the eagles" to tell a country in turmoil, alive, young.
"Tirana is a city where I often go, on average every five months and where every time I see changes and transformations, many things change abruptly".
The film focuses on the affairs of three young people, an Italian named Vito and two Albanian boys: Rubin, a twenty-five-year-old from Vlore who lives in Tirana, and Bora, a girl from Scutari who had just returned home at the end of her studies. Canada.
The initial images show the rural landscape of Puglia, the olive trees, the sea, the Salento, a group of kids on a motorcycle. So we know Vito, Lecce of 20 years, who as soon as he discovers the theft of his new shiny bike decides to take a ferry to Albania, because it is a common belief that the stolen vehicles in Italy end up there. The boy lands at the port of Durres where he will begin his adventure. A succession of urban images, the station, the train to Tirana, introduce Bora, just landed at Rinas airport, which tells how strong his passion for travel is and what are the reasons that lead her to learn about new cultures and new countries.
Bora introduces a dear friend of his, Rubin, surely the most memorable character in the film, thanks to his energy, his expansiveness, his being extroverted and active, his excellent Italian with a slight Apulian accent will be difficult to forget. The protagonists are all non-professional actors, the Italian boy was chosen thanks to a casting on Youtube; Bora had already collaborated with the director in the past and proposed her dear friend Rubin as a possible protagonist.
The film was made with the contribution of Rai Cinema, in co-production with the Albanians Bizef Production ed Erafilm Production, which allowed the director to use the young students of the film school as operators Marubi; this helped to create a climate of confidentiality and benevolence that put the people involved at ease.
Immediately we understand that the style of the film is to alternate the narration with moments of interviews, in which the various characters tell in first person the experiences that have most marked them.The two young friends are the "Virgilos" who drive Vito to explore Albania, initially they help him look for the bike, but when the young man understands that his is a desperate mission, he begins to enjoy the experience and begins a journey on the road that leads him to know a land that is enigmatic to him, initially judged with many prejudices.
From that moment on it is a flow of photographs of magnificent landscapes: Scutari, Lake Koman, Fier, Bajram Curri, Vlora, Tirana. The two young men bring Vito to their places of the heart, and this is how we come to know about the noble grandmother of Bora, who before the communism was part of the aristocracy of Scutari, we enter Hajdar's house, one of the last burnesha existing, or those women who to protect their families or to inherit their lands decided to become men, dressing as such and being accepted by the community as normal male countrymen, the "sworn virgins" precisely.
Rubin instead makes us discover a different, new Tirana. The images do not show the usual ones bllok colorful, but young people at work in studio radio recordings, abandoned and abandoned rooms that are converted into exhibition rooms and bars. He introduces us to his parents, who live in a beautiful house in Libohova, in the south of the country. They are also given space to talk about their youth and communism: a dominant element in the stories of adult (men).
Enver Hoxha is often cited but never really called into question, more space has been given to individual people who have made history, to those who have been in Skanderberg Square to protest during the years of the fall of the regime and to whom doing the smuggler has brought so many his fellow countrymen towards the Italian coasts. Real moments, touching related by historical repertory images.
Respondents are allowed to talk about themselves, share their memories with us, simple spectators, who are made participants of situations and contexts that we could never have known so well. The two most touching moments are those in which Paulin, a young boy in gjakmarrja (segregation of a family for fear of blood feud) tells how difficult it is to never be able to leave your home. In his eyes we read a sad resignation, to see a boy so young demoralized and with no future prospects, it is something that cannot leave us indifferent.
The other situation in an equally intense manner is Hana's outburst, taken up at her home in Bulqiza. Wife of a miner and also employed in the quarry, tells of how difficult it is to work in the mine, how harmful it is to health to look for chrome: every day they raise and move stones with their own arms to look for the precious mineral and earn a poor salary. She is a strong woman, who is not afraid to report a difficult situation, to talk about the sense of abandonment of her community by a state that does not seem interested in the problems of the inhabitants of these mining villages.
In this film one perceives a great enthusiasm in wanting to tell one's country; the Albanians can easily be recognized in these young people proud of their culture, tied to their own traditions but with a look projected to the future, without fear of changing, traveling and knowing in order to return to their own land to improve and build.
We speak of the contradictions of the kanun and of some difficult situations of poverty, but also of young people who want to do, who do not deny their past but accept it as such, of those who have been migrants but decide to return with experience and skills acquired over the years.
Albanian hospitality can be perceived at every meeting, we can see in the flow of images and we see how we Italians are always amazed by such kindness and free availability, without ulterior motives.
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