Premiere of Collaborative Film on Communist Past Concludes 25th Anniversary of Swiss Embassy
Albanian Daily News
Published September 15, 2017
The joint Swiss-Albanian production ‘Dealing with the Past’ debuted today at Millennium
Cinema followed by a discussion on memories from the communist rule.
A film directed by Eric Bergkraut in cooperation with Kujtim Çashku and produced by students at
the Academy of Film and Multimedia ‘Marubi’ debuted today marking the third event of of the 25th
anniversary week of the Swiss Embassy in Albania.
“Stories told through film can reach the young generation effectively and convey to them messages
from the recent history. Dealing with the past means also learning from the past. With this we hope
to contribute to the dialogue and debate this country is about to carry out about its recent past”,
said Swiss Ambassador Christoph Graf as he opened the event.
Swiss director Eric Bergkraut received the inspiration to make a film about Albania’s communist
past during his first visit in the country when he noticed an ambiguous stance towards the totalitarian
regime. “All countries, not just Albania, have a past and have to deal with it. A documentary is
the opposite of propaganda. This is in fact a film made by the students of ‘Marubi’ Academy”, said
Bergkraut as he introduced the documentary.
Albanian director Kujtim Çashku co-led the making of the film and stated that “the documentary
would not have been able without the support of the Embassy of Switzerland”. “I am glad to see
here some of the protagonists of this documentary and to see the sons and daughters of some
others”, said Mr. Çashku.
‘Dealing with the Past’ is a collage of 7 stories capturing the variety of experiences and opinions
about the communist period. From the demolition of the Queen Mother’s cemetery to the execution
of young Albanians who wrote poetry or listened to Western music, the stories evoke exceptional
and painful experiences. 10 students of the Academy of Film and Multimedia ‘Marubi’ carried out
the interviews, filming, and editing, while painter Maks Velo provided drawings that connect visually
the different short stories.
After the screening a vivid discussion took place among a panel made up of Gentiana Sula, Head
of Authority of Information on Former State Security Documents, Uran Kostreci, a former political
prisoner, Robert Wilton, Deputy Head of the OSCE Presence, Orest Zeneli, a student who participated
in the production, and Debora Kern, Head of Governance at the Swiss Embassy. The discussion
was moderate by writer Luljeta Lleshanaku.