Divorce Albanian Style

Razvod po albanski

  • Adela Peeva
  • Bulgaria
  • 2007
  • 66 min
  • Jan Vrijman Fund
In 1961, Albania severed their ties with the Soviet Union. The communist dictator Enver Hoxha had been estranged from the U.S.S.R. ever since the new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had launched the de-Stalinisation process five years earlier. The divorce between Albania and mother Russia led the regime to insist that countless Albanian citizens leave their foreign-born partners. In this film, both the victims of these divorces and those charged with enforcing them look back on the events. Men and their foreign wives suddenly became suspects in the eyes of the Hoxha regime and were arrested. The charge invariably was "espionage for the Soviet Union" or "propaganda against the Albanian state." The interrogation methods were not exactly warranted, and people who refused to obey could count on lengthy sentences as 'public enemies'. The only escape was to show unconditional loyalty to the great leader Hoxha by divorcing their spouses. Their children had to side with the Albanian parent as well, at least if they aspired to attend university and acquire a job.
Victims in Albania, Poland and Russia reminisce about their broken marriages. A man pays a visit to the prison camp where he stayed for 18 years. He is unable to forgive Hoxha's henchmen, who in turn tell us their consciences are clear. After all, they were only doing their job.


  • 66 min
  • color
  • video
  • Spoken languages: Russian, Polish, Albanian
  • Subtitles in: English
Adela Peeva
Adela Peeva for Adela Media Film & TV Productions
Executive producer
Slobodan Milovanovic for Adela Media Film & TV Productions
ARD/WDR, Studio Filmowe Kalejdoskop
Joro Nedelkov

IDFA history

Jan Vrijman Fund
Supported with €4000 for Classic: Development

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