Albania, Serbia

Synopsis

In hope of a better life, two young couples leave their respective countries. Melinda and Nik leave Albania by boat for Italy, in order to be able to live out their love away from social pressure. Vera and Marko leave Serbia by train for Austria, travelling through Hungary. Marko, a talented cellist, has the opportunity to enter the renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. But upon their arrival at the border, even though their visas are in order, their problems begin. Despite the fact that they have nothing to do with a serious incident that took place the night before in Kosovo, because of an unfortunate sequence of coincidences, they are arrested. Their hopes of realizing their dreams in Europe - a synonym for the Promised Land - go up in smoke. As is often the case with young people from the Balkans, they are paying for the mistakes of previous generations...

Director's Statement

During Enver Hodxa's cruel, forty-year dictatorship, no one from Serbia was allowed to visit neighboring Albania. Today, after the conflicts in Kosovo, there is still only a very small number of Serbs who decide to visit Albania. Prejudice and bad politics have contributed to a latent intolerance between the two nations.During my first stay in Albania in December of 2006,1 met many intellectuals who thought like I did, who were beyond any kind of fiery nationalism. I discovered that Albanians and Serbs, although they speak two completely different languages, have much in common, notedly the deep desire to become an integral part of Europe. During long conversations, the idea was born that we try, through our combined efforts, to make a movie, which I would direct with a mixed crew.I imagined the film as a triptych. The Albanian and the Serbian stories are about two young couples who wish to go to western Europe in the hope that they will have more chances there than in their home countries. Finally, the third part intertwines the destinies of these two couples. Their stories unwind in parallel and they never meet, as would usually be the case in standard films. However, I am convinced that at the end of the film viewers will have the impression that these young people, are in the same imaginary space, while they wait on the threshold of Europe; the Albanians in a port in southern Italy, and the Serbs on the Hungarian border in the backroom of a small railway station. Nevertheless, after the first bitter disappointment on the border of that so green "better" world, dawns a new morning for both.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Goran Paskaljevic

Written by: Genc Permeti, Goran Paskaljevic

Produced by: Goran Paskaljevic, Genc Permeti

Cinematography: Milan Spasic

Editing: Petar Putnikovic

Production Design: Zeljko Antovic, Durim Neziri

Cast: Jozef Shiroka, Mirela Naska, Lazar Ristovski, Nebojsa Milovanovic, Jelena Trkulja

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2010