• Short Summary

    RARE SCENES OF LIFE IN ALBANIA WERE RECORDED BY A BRITISH CAMERAMAN RECENTLY DURING A TWO-WEEKS VISIT TO THIS LITTLE KNOWN BALKAN REPUBLIC.

  • Description

    RARE SCENES OF LIFE IN ALBANIA WERE RECORDED BY A BRITISH CAMERAMAN RECENTLY DURING A TWO-WEEKS VISIT TO THIS LITTLE KNOWN BALKAN REPUBLIC.

    THE COUNTRY FOR THE GREATER PART IS RUGGED AND WILD, AND MANY OF ITS 1,625,000 INHABITANTS STILL PREFER TO LIVE AMONG THE MOUNTAINS. THE COMPARATIVELY SMALL AREA OF ARABLE LAND IS DEVOTED MAINLY TO WHEAT AND MAIZE. A POOR COUNTRY, ALBANIA HAS HAD TO SEEK AID FROM OTHER COUNTRIES TO MAINTAIN ITS ECONOMY AND BOLSTER DEVELOPMENT SCHEMES.

    FOR THREE YEARS AFTER WORLD WAR TWO ALBANIA RECEIVED A LARGE PART OF THIS AID FROM YUGOSLAVIA, WHICH BORDERS WITH ALBANIA TO THE NORTH AND EAST. HOWEVER, WHEN PRESIDENT TITO HAD A DISAGREEMENT WITH RUSSIA IN 1948, GENERAL ENVER HOXHA, THE ALBANIAN COMMUNIST LEADER, TURNED TO THE SOVIET UNION, AND RUSSIAN TRACTORS, MACHINERY, TRUCKS, TECHNICIANS AND MONEY FLOWED INTO THE COUNTRY. IN RETURN, RUSSIA RECEIVED THE USE OF THE SUBMARINE BASE AT VLORE (VALONA).

    POSTERS AND SLOGANS ATTACKING YUGOSLAVIA AND AMERICA ARE TO BE SEEN ON THE WALLS OF VILLAGE, TOWN AND CITY. PRESIDENT TITO IS USUALLY DEPICTED AS THE "LACKEY" OF "CAPITALIST" UNCLE SAM. HOWEVER, NEARLY A MILLION ALBANIANS STILL LIVE ACROSS THE BORDER IN THE KOSSOVO REGION OF YUGOSLAVIA.

    AT THE LAST YEAR'S COMMUNIST PARTY CONGRESS IN MOSCOW, ALBANIA AND CHINA OPENLY OPPOSED RUSSIA'S "ANTI-MARXIST" POLICY, PARTICULARLY IN ITS ATTACKS ON THE LATE JOSEPH STALIN. THIS BROUGHT IMMEDIATE REACTION FROM THE SOVIET UNION, WHO STOPPED ALL AID AND WITHDREW ITS DIPLOMATIC STAFF FROM ALBANIA. OUTSTANDING EXAMPLES OF THE SUDDENNESS OF THIS RUPTURE ARE TO BE SEEN IN THE UNFINISHED SOVIET EMBASSY IN TIRANA, WHERE CRANES STAND IDLE AND THE UNOPENED PACKING CASES ARE JUST AS THE DEPARTING SOVIET TECHNICIANS LEFT THEM, AND AT THE ADRIATIC RESORT OF DURRES, CAPITAL OF ALBANIA UNTIL 1920 AND STILL ITS CHIEF PORT. NEW AND HALF-FINISHED HOTELS LINE THE BEAUTIFUL SEA-SHORE. A FEW YEARS AGO DURRES WAS PACKED WITH VISITORS FROM THE COMMUNIST COUNTRIES OF EASTERN EUROPE. NOW, THE FLOW OF HOLIDAY MAKERS HAS STOPPED.

    IT WAS HERE, AT DURRES, THAT ALBANIA LAST YEAR RECEIVED THE GRAIN SHIPMENTS WHICH OFFSET THE RUSSIAN WITHDRAWAL. CHINA BOUGHT THE WHEAT FROM CANADA AND SHIPPED IT TO ALBANIA IN A MOTLEY FLEET OF CHARTERED VESSELS. CHINA HAS ALSO CREDITED ALBANIA WITH NEARLY GBP45-MILLION, AND CHINESE TECHNICIANS AND GOODS ARE CIRCULATING THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.

    TIRANA, THE CAPITAL, IS A MIXTURE OF OLD AND NEW. THE DRESS OF SOME PEOPLE REFLECTS THE FACT THAT ALBANIA WAS DOMINATED BY TURKEY UNTIL 1913, WHILE OTHERS PREFER UP-TO-THE-MINUTE STYLING. THE ARCHITECTURE, TOO, VARIES GREATLY. A MOSQUE'S MINARET DOMINATES THE SKYLINE, WHILE A MASSIVE NEW BOULEVARD STRETCHES FOR A MILE THROUGH A RECENTLY BUILT BUSINESS SECTION. 40-YARDS WIDE, LINED WITH LIME AND MIMOSA TREES, IT IS CAPABLE OF HANDLING THE TRAFFIC OF A BUSY CITY. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS NO TRAFFIC. THE POLICEMAN WHO STANDS ON TRAFFIC CONTROL DUTY IN THE VAST SKANDERBERG SQUARE IS ONLY RARELY DISTURBED BY A PASSING CYCLIST OR HORSE-DRAWN CART.

    ENVER HOXHA, THE 54-YEAR OLD WORLD WAR TWO PARTISAN LEADER, NOW PRIME MINISTER AND LEADER OF THE RULING COMMUNIST PARTY, IS FACED WITH THE PROSPECT OF SEEKING INCREASED ECONOMIC AID. WHETHER HE WILL ATTEMPT TO HEAL THE BREACH WITH THE SOVIET UNION, OR TURN TO THE WESTERN WORLD REMAINS TO BE SEEN. OFFICIAL REPORTS SAY THIS YEAR'S CROP IS GOOD. THE FIRST GRAIN HARVEST IS IN AND THERE IS NO FEAR OF HUNGER THIS WINTER.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAECFYGMPH20VX3ZD04GHZVD4DJ
    Media URN:
    VLVAECFYGMPH20VX3ZD04GHZVD4DJ
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/09/1962
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:59:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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