UK, Croatia, Albania, 2021 31'
From the peaks of the Prokletije, the Albanian Alps, springs the Valbona river, whose course runs through the villages of Cerem, Valbona, and Dragobia. Water brings life, and so the river leaves its mark on the peoples who live in the valley. Reportedly, the Valbona river has never dried up: according to the Kanun (the century-old Albanian common law), water should flow freely to serve the common good. The river brings along songs, childhood memories, and ancient legends. It is a fishy and generous river: it repays with gifts those who respect it. However, its incessant flow is under threat, as a power plant could interrupt the stream of water, and of life.
Eleanor Mortimer (among the winners at the 61st Festival dei Popoli) and Liridon Mustafaj go over the wonderful landscapes of the Valbona Valley and offer a joyful, poetic tribute to the extraordinary environmental and cultural wealth of these mountainous lands at the border of Albania. At the end of a lengthy lawsuit, the power plant was dismantled, returning the river’s course to the peoples who live in the region.