Saturday, 16 January 2010

Marxist Leninism on the silver screen

During the communist period, the Albanian state produced a wide range of propaganda, for both internal and external consumption. The link below is to a clip on YouTube from an Italian documentary called 'Albania - il paese di fronte' ('Albania - the country opposite') which includes several examples, including a Radio Tirana broadcast, a particularly peculiar film about WW2 partisans (a variant on the 'Valkyrie' sequence from 'Apocalypse Now' involving a loudspeaker strapped to a bus and some dancing Italians), some 'racy' communist-era jazz and a ballet written for Enver Hoxha's atheism campaign. It's quite tricky to follow if you don't speak Italian but the images speak pretty much for themselves.

Should this whet your appetite, the remaining ten parts of the documentary are also on YouTube and include footage of, amongst other things, King Zog and his wedding, the Italian invasion in 1939, Mayday parades, Khruschev planting a tree in Tirana, Enver Hoxha dancing with a Chinese delegation and, in the final instalment, the toppling of Hoxha's statue during the anti-communist revolution in 1991.

1 comment:

  1. Some great moments here, Tom, including the mass sempahore-training-sessions so beloved of the comrades. My favourite line is from the strip cartoon: 'But Marx and Engels had beards!!'