Albania/Austria 2012 • Runtime: 72 min • HD color • Deutsche Version HIER •

A place of dictatorial isolationists and trigger-happy masses, archaic family structures and trans-generational family feuds: to this day, thanks to decades of anti-communist propaganda and mass media sensationalism, Albania is still regarded as backwards and dangerous. This oversimplified prejudice stands in contrast with a reality a thousand times more complex. It’s a place of extraordinary paradoxes, where an exhilaratingly beautiful, unspoiled countryside, plentiful resources, the peaceful coexistence of religions and a largely organic farming method are juxtaposed with inadequate waste disposal and water purification systems, architectural eyesores and the political extravagances of old and new power cliques. SHQIPËRIA – NOTES FROM ALBANIA offers a flow of stories from and about Albania, displaying the country in its true diversity, unspeculatively illuminating its conflicts and discovering this blank spot on the map of Europe in all its contradictions.

After covering 4,000 kilometers in Albania and conducting more than 60 interviews across the entire demographic spectrum, filmmakers Klaus Hübner and Alfred Zacharias illuminate the status quo of this EU candidate country after 100 years as a nation state, 50 years of communist isolation and 20 years of free market economy. In SHQIPËRIA – NOTES FROM ALBANIA, we listen to members of the Roma community speaking under a motorway bridge, as well as various celebrities and TV stars, the current prime minister and his opponents. It’s a travelogue that lets pictures and people speak for themselves.

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