From Shpendi Topollaj
–DIRECTOR BESIM SAHATCIU, RESURRECTED BY THE PEN OF KOPI KYCYKUT-
Memorie.al / Many years ago, when people were hiding from themselves, like stealth, I saw a film on a Yugoslav TV station that shocked me. It shocked me and left an indelible impression on me. It was called “Era dhe lisi” and spoke with chilling truth and unbelievable courage about the fate of the Albanians there. In addition, there was the amazing play of the actors and especially the main one, Abdurrahman Shala, whose portrait and artistic character would be the envy of even those in Hollywood. Yes, I never learned which was the hand that had selected these virtuoso actors and the mind that had made this film, which not only honored Kosovo, but also showed the creative power of its intellectuals, without forgetting Bekim Fehmiu to the world.
But that’s how life is; my dear friend, academician Kopi Kyçyku, the knowledgeable, energetic and rare producer, quenched my curiosity by giving me his book – album “Besim Sahatçiu – a life for the screen and the stage”. Here I discovered the enigmatic director of that impressive film, but I also found a polyhedral figure that put all his talent and professional skills at the service of his unfortunate country.
I have always thought that after the liberation war in Kosovo, which cost the lives of thousands and thousands of innocent people, at least the cultural exchanges, i.e. the spiritual ones, between the two countries that were vilely divided, would intensify.
But I never understood the official apathy, to give and take in this direction, that is, to keep burning the fire of recognition and love between brothers and sisters of the same blood, of the same history and of the same fate! This is why every initiative taken, every effort made, every activity carried out in this direction should be encouraged, encouraged, supported and welcomed, for which there is no reason to take anyone’s hand.
This has nothing to do with that warning of the Marquis, that; “Nationalist exaltations blind the intelligence.” On the contrary, knowing each other better, we will become even wiser. This is why, this book by the author Kopi Kyçyku, takes on a special value, since it was written and published at the time when we need it most.
And how it is written. As this wise man knows, this steadfast patriot, this intellectual of European proportions. Friend of Faith, Prof. Dr. Akil Koçi, in his wonderful foreword, said that this author, in addition to writing this book with warmth, with clean and laconic language, with a flowing style and especially full of truth, also presents it to us; “As contemplation, as reflection and as communication… so much so, it resembles a great and powerful chorus, as eternal metamorphosis, as a song of the universes, as a being of feeling that does not exhaust, as a pleasant music, that brings us an amazing, inspiring, optimistic doctrine”.
The whole book, from the first page to the end, is not just an ordinary monograph, of those who were born, lived and died, but a treatise full of social, political, professional and even philosophical values, which gives us no simply the formation and work of a man of unusual proportions, like Besim Sahatçiu, but also a hymn, for the one who donates all his possibilities, even his immaculate soul, as a moral obligation to his people, to his great cause. Kopi, rightly calls Besimin korif. Yes, that’s how he appears in this biography, of a completely new kind.
Beautiful at first sight, sweet, wise, full of will, always thoughtful and with a distant, light-filled gaze, it is easily understood that he has only one preoccupation: how to achieve the best. And not only that; but how to raise the level where no one has taken it, to where, with today’s advances, European stage art has arrived, which never leaves out the ancient tragedies or Shakespeare. And he is convinced that this is preceded by knowledge and culture. Not without purpose, he himself, as he evokes Pushkin, who since then was wondering about Gogol’s “Inspector”: “How is it possible, that a person can be deciphered with such skill and presented so completely, with only a few lines, how to be alive”?!
And the contemporary, the art historian, d’Amico, who said: “The success of ‘Revizor’ was very great in its time, but it remained so even after a century…”, adds for his part, that this is where we started to stage it for the first time in our new stage…! Therefore, we hope that we are at his (Gogol’s) service and that of our public.
And following this attitude, Besimi, when it comes to the actor, thought that; “The impressions are not necessarily related to the size of the role, because it is a matter of any actor being able, in just a few moments, to create an image of such vividness, so profoundly defined, for the mind and soul, so that it is not separated from the mind for years to come”.
It must be admitted that Besim Sahatçiu, in addition to being a man of action, i.e. an organizer capable enough to prepare a piece for theater or film, was first and foremost a deep connoisseur of the secrets of this art, so he was a theorist, in the full sense of the word. And for this truth, no one else, better than the living encyclopedia, Kopi Kyçyku, can convince us.
Besimi tried both the screens and the stage of the theater, successfully, within the possibilities that Kosovo had. He even dared to measure his strength with dignity, through 35 different festivals with foreigners, as in; Italy, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Turkey, Syria, Croatia, Tirana, etc.
The lessons of the Academy of Arts in Zagreb, the boy from Peja, amazing and full of virtues, had been worth a lot to him, but he never gave up his studies, which is also evidenced by his rich library and especially the exchange of ideas with prominent people of letters and art in Kosovo. He had understood and implemented in life, the importance of close and sincere cooperation with them.
With the friends he loved so much, he behaved like; Virgil’s Act, in “Aeneid”. But Atropoia, to whom even Zeus himself obeyed, fatally cut the thread of his life, where her younger sister, Clotoia, had predestined him. The day he was covered with the free soil of his homeland, Heaven was happy, but art and culture were plunged into mourning and sadness.
For his wife, Besa, the time of Astiria, set. Now she could repeat the words of Tarita Teripaia, about the death of Marlon Brando; “And now, I will try to accept what my life is without him.” You will be comforted only with the good guys, Besnik and Beki, and especially with Rita Ora, her granddaughter who is honoring with her outstanding talent as a singer, not only Kosovo, but all of Albania, which she has shown, that she has in her heart. Rita Ora, who always remembers her white-haired grandfather: “I miss you grandfather… / I love you so much… / You made me believe that this is possible / You believed in me, before I myself / believed in myself / Rita Pita loves you”!
Kosovo will be proud of an artist like him for a long time, who, with what he accomplished, belongs without any doubt to the giants of Albanian cinematography and theater, and who gave the well-deserved answer to the slanders and insults of Shoven like Miodrag Bullatoviqi his book; “People with four fingers”.
Whereas we in Albania have the duty to remember this man, showing his films; “Three people cross the mountain”, “Pasqyra”, “Flooding stream”, “Pehlivans”, “Bread and salt and heart”, “117”, which they called it; “spiritual portrait of our people”, and especially; “Era and Lisi”, which had remained in my mind for so long and I knew nothing about its director. But from now on, our good friend, Kopi Kyçyku, showed me so simply and magnificently at the same time. Memorie.al