Albania, France

Synopsis

Handsome young Andre arrives in a remote mountain village for his new teaching post at the local elementary school. Under the tight rule of the school Principal, Andre is surprised to discover that the only item on his first faculty meeting agenda is assignment of a political slogan for each class. Between "Up With Revolutionary Spirit" and "American Imperialism is Only a Paper Tiger," Andre catches on that shorter slogans are preferable. In a physically demanding task, the teachers and young students must form the letters with rocks on neighbouring hillsides. This "political duty" dictates life in the village towards ironic and unexpected results. Among them, a love story between Andre and pretty French teacher, Diana. Under the paranoid probing eyes of the local Party Secretary, the simplest rumours and rivalries of the quaint village become comically misinterpreted. With preparations underway for the upcoming arrival of an important Party dignitary's motorcade, the absurd reality of Albanian life in the Tate 197os under the Enver Hoxha dictatorship shows its true face.

Director's Biography

Albanian director Gjergj Xhuvani received international attention for his 1999 film FUNERAL BUSINESS. The 30-minute film was presented at the Venice Film Festival and received the top prize in Montpellier (France). After graduating from the Theatre Department of Tirana's National Academy of the Arts, Xhuvani served as assistant director on numerous films and wrote scripts for animated films. Xhuvani made his first feature, LAST LOVE, in 1995. The film won the Special Jury Prize at Bastia's Festival of Mediterranean Film (Corsica). Xhuvani, born in Tirana in 1963, is also the author of a children's book, "The Boat of the Poor" and a novel, "Until Noon".
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Gjergj Xhuvani

Written by: Ylljet Aliçka

Produced by: Pascal Judelewicz, Anne-Dominique Toussaint

Cinematography: Gerald Thiaville

Editing: Didier Ranz

Original Score: Denis Barbier

Cast: Luiza Xhuvani (Diana), Artur Gorishti (Andre), Agim Qirjaqi (school director), Birçe Hasko (Sabaf)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2001