The TG2 Sunday 6 December dossier was dedicated to Albania with a documentary by Dario Laruffa. The caption accompanying the video is emblematic, says: This week a report on Albania, a country that has yet to overcome the challenge of modernity.
(documentary that you can ) Now, I immediately take off my aching tooth: several times (but we almost always say) Italian TVs, including RAI, have contributed to creating that negative image which they then lash out against in this same documentary, which is always broadcast on RAI (and the names are not a case of homomia, it is the same TV). Having said that, we must also say that they know their stuff in terms of documentaries. Even if the doc does not add almost anything new to the Albanian speakers, it is still a precious document for anyone who wants to keep up to date or inquire about the country in front, so close and so far. And this is definitely the problem of the reportage, besides being its strong point. In just 49 minutes the doc ranges from Gjergj Kastrioti to Taçi, from the many Mercedes in the street to the rhetorical and useless question if the Italians are racist, from the Kanun to the tourism industry, from the arberesh to the rampant corruption, tells how the Albanians see today the Italians - a little have changed their mind - and how the Italians see the Albanians - have changed their minds, but only a little - and so on. Borrows some images of the Front Country of Sejko / Brescia and also to the Albanian Top-Channel TV. A documentary that adds nothing to the Italian who is not well informed, and which serves only to that substantial part of the public that has kept the TV switched off in the last ten years. It tells of luxury as well as the miserable (impressive, especially visually, the first 5 minutes where Laruffa plays with the Albanian extremes) but without ever going to dig. Understandable choice when it comes to spreading everything in 50 minutes, and it is also understandable the choice of TG2 dossier to do a general job - to take everything from the top like from the windows of an airplane - and to sacrifice the search for the truth, the journalistic investigation.
Although not in chronological order, the documentary briefly traces the history of Albania from the birth of our modern state with Gjergj Kastrioti, to fascism - enhanced by a testimony by Senator Carlo d'Azeglio Ciampi, official during the days of the invasion fascist - to the present day.
The interviews are probably the real pearl of this documentary. Whether former President Ciampi is an illegal immigrant such as Taulant, an occasional thief and now a barista, a successful entrepreneur in Tirana, Zhani Ciku or Rezart Taçi, each has the merit of offering another vision, albeit partial, that helps to create a general common sense. (But why do Albanians insist on raging when they don't give up answering in Italian even when they are interviewed in Tirana? They believe they have to prove that they know the language well? They want journalists to feel at home, which would be very stupid given that journalists do they travel to tell a story that is not theirs? Or maybe (they believe) Rai cannot afford to pay a translator?) A documentary that tries to show more than what it would be reasonable to suppose, and does not always succeed. And yet, in days like these, even such a work becomes precious, not so much for its journalistic qualities, but for the mere fact of existing and of having gone on air. A document to be seen - also because it is free on the Rai website - and to be judged as a faithful and impartial report, albeit superficial, of present-day Albania.