RETURN TO EUROPE
DOCUMENTARY / A 2008 / HD CAM / 45 & 52 minutes versions available
ALBANIA – ALBANIAN RENAISSANCE
directed by Claudia Pöchlauer
For most people Albania is a blank spot on the map of Europe. Completely isolated from the outside world for decades by an extreme, communist regime, the country is still suffering from its negative image. Television reports of over-crowded ships carrying thousands of Albanian refugees and the chaos and anarchy in 1997, when even children took up arms, conjure up the image of a corrupt Balkan state, in which gratuitous violence, organised crime, blood feuds and grinding poverty predominate. But this image does not reflect the reality: Albania has largely overcome the crisis of its first post-communist years.
The film takes a look at this unknown, new Albania and reveals a country with a fascinating landscape, centuries of ancient culture and one of the most dynamic and young societies in south-east Europe. It describes the development of Tirana from an urban Moloch to become a colourful, lively metropolis, but also tells of the hard lives of people in the suburbs, in the remote mountains of northern Albania and mining communities.
Albania’s development towards democracy and becoming a constitutional state is documented by MJAFT
! (“Enough!”), an organisation founded in 2002, which succeeded in making an increasing number of people aware of the political and social injustices in the country and taking the appropriate civil action.
IDEA & CONCEPT
SPECIAL THANKS TO
AN INITIATIVE OF
A PRODUCTION OF
IN COOPERATION WITH
Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe
ORF & 3sat