Sunday, August 13, 2017

Documentary Review: Dear Albania

This short, but enjoyable, film is the perfect thing to watch while doing laundry, dishes, and other household chores. It's informative and interesting, but not so academically complex that you need to give it your whole attention.

Image result for dear albaniaProduced and narrated by American-Albanian actress Eliza Dushku, Dear Albania documents the visit of Eliza and her brother to Albania, the homeland of their grandparents. It looks at Albanian culture and people from the lens of a semi-outsider--someone who is at once part of the culture, but has been geographically removed from that culture for most of their lives.

It starts in the capital city of Tirina, where Dushku and her brother track down some family. From there they explore the lovely beaches, as well as the vibrant city of Tirina. However, they don't stay in one place for very long. From Tirina they explore other large cities in Albania, as well as several large cities with significant Albanian communities in the neighboring country as well.

To be entirely honest, there wasn't a lot of substance in this film. There were stunning visuals, small amounts of tourist information, along with a large amount of Dushku family history. This movie gives just enough of a taste of Albania to get the watcher interested, but the lack of actual information leaves you dissatisfied at the end. It was more of a travel diary than a proper documentary, though it tried very hard to fit into the documentary category.

Overall, it was a mildly entertaining film to have playing as background noise while I performed household tasks. While it might have been light on information, it has left me with a burning curiosity to learn more about Albania, as well as ideas for a few research topics, so keep an eye out for more Albanian history in the future!

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