Divorce Albanian Style

Year of participation 2008
Program Documentary Competition

Divorce Albanian Style
Producer(s) Adela Peeva
Director(s) Adela Peeva
Script Adela Peeva
Director of Photography Joro Nedelkov
Music by Fatos Querimaj
Sound Ivaylo Yanev, Michal Pruski
Edit Jelio Jelev, Diana Zaharieva
Production company(-ies) Adela Media Film & TV Production E-mail:


In 1961 Albania broke off its ties with the Soviet Union. Communist dictator Enver Hoxha had been estranged from the USSR ever since the new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had launched the de-Stalinization 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 the viewers their consciences are clear. After all, they were only doing their job.


Special award of the Jury (Golden Rython Bulgarian Documentary Film Festival 007); Golden Chest Grand Prix for Best Documentary (Golden Chest International TV Festival 2007); Best Bulgarian Documentary 2007 Award; SRG SSR Idռe Suisse Prize of the Swiss Broadcast Corporation Basel-Karlsruhe Forum 2008

 Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation
Festival Coverage