By Dashnor Kaloçi
Memorie.al brings excerpts from the memoirs of the famous Hollywood actor of Albanian origin, Bekim Fehmiu, published in his book “Glory and horror” published in Belgrade in 2012 under the Albanian translation of the famous Albanian translator and diplomat, Xhelal Fejza ( from Shkodra), where, among other things, Fehmiu told about a meeting he had in Belgrade a few days before coming to Albania, with Borislav Mihajlovi M Mihizi, one of the most famous intellectuals of Yugoslavia at that time, who prayed for Fehmiu to bring “General…” one of the wonderful books written by Kadare…
In the early 1970s, with the publication in France of the novel “The General of the Dead Army”, the name and fame of the well-known Albanian writer increased immensely and his book began to be sought after by many well-known publishing houses in his country. different of the world. Among other things, this is made known in the memoirs of the world-famous Albanian actor from Kosovo, Bekim Fehmi, in his book “Glory and horror”, published in 2012 in Belgrade under the Albanian translation of the well-known Albanian diplomat and translator, Xhelal Fejza. In this book of the famous Albanian actor, performer of a series of roles in world cinematography, otherwise known as “Albanian Ulysses”, occupy a central place his memories during his two-week visit to Albania in 1972, he had the opportunity to meet with a number of personalities of Albanian culture such as Dhimitër Shuteriqi, Dritëro Agolli, Pirro Milkani, etc., as well as his Albanian colleagues of Theater and Cinematography in Tirana, Shkodër, Durrës etc. One of the famous Albanian personalities that the great actor met during that visit to Albania, was the writer Ismail Kadare, about whom Fehmiu speaks with superlatives, recalling a meeting he had had in Belgrade (a few days before coming to Albania) with Borislav Mihajlovi M Mihizi, one of the greatest intellectuals of Yugoslavia at that time, where, among other things, he told him: “I heard that you will go to Albania. A great writer lives there. His name is Ismail Kadare. He wrote a wonderful novel, ‘The General of the Dead Army’. See if you can bring me. “For more about this and some other memories of the famous Hollywood actor during his visit to his homeland in Albania, we know the following article that Memorie.al brings to its readers.
Excerpts from the memoir “Splendor and Horror” published in October 2012 in Belgrade and translated by Xhelal Fejza
Bekim Fehmiu: Confessions in the first person
Albanian Film Week. Guest … “Albanian Film Week” was held for the first time in Belgrade at the Youth House. I could barely see the end of the projection of one of the films. I meet Abdurrahman Shala, the new director Besim Sahatçiu … I was introduced to two young directors from Albania, Piro Milkani and Dhimitër Anagnosti. – Would you have come to us as a guest? – Dhimitri asks me, the short man with black features, who had studied camera and directing in Leningrad and Moscow. – With great pleasure, if you invite me! Atelie 212. I am sitting in the cupboard with colleagues. Enter Borislav Mihajlovic-Mihizi, one of the country’s greatest intellectuals. “I heard that you are going to Albania. A great writer lives there. His name is Ismail Kadare. He has written a wonderful novel, ‘The General of the Dead Army’. See if you can bring me.” The invitation came for me to be a guest of “Kinostudios”. Gloomy day. I traveled with that JAT car. From the plane you can see the urban plan of Tirana designed in such a way that it can follow the order of the words “Duce” (so called Mussolini). Aerodrome? Typical of a small and poor country. For the first time in Tirana. The procedure with the strict border guards and the customs officers, who look like the airport, went without difficulty, because Dhimitër Anagnosti and Pirro Milkani and the director of “Kinostudios” were waiting for me. – Do you speak Albanian? Do you know someone in Albania you would like to meet? They helped me to pack my suitcase in the trunk of a Lada. During the trip to Tirana, the director asks me again. – Do you have any wishes that we could fulfill while you are in Albania? – I have two. First, to convey the most cordial greetings from my mother, Bajram Curri’s wife, Dervishe Hanemi. Second, to see my first love. They stepped. – Do you have a first love in Albania? What is it called? Where is he from? – From Shkodra. Her name is Bukuroshe Tahiri. He has a brother named Riza and a sister named Safete. – Good! Will see! I was accommodated in the hotel “Dajti” in the city center. I liked the silence, without that traffic noise, just some bike. Tirana looks beautiful. Wide boulevards, with many flowers, with trees on the side … The monument of Gjergj Kastriot dominates the whole center. The hosts had organized the screening of the film “Odyssey”. The cinema hall filled to the brim with selected guests. Applause and anticipation are like waiting for a man. With pride, with joy, with warmth. Official visits began. In the Writers’ League, along with others, I meet Ismail Kadare, Dritëro Agolli … Ismail Kadare, a typical intellectual, with glasses with a metal frame, comes out and says to me: – I would like to give you my novel “General i dead army “, but I only have the French version. – I would be very pleased – He gave me his bestseller with dedication. I visited the Academy of Arts. “Kinostudio”. Simple conversations. Questions, professional. Their curiosity is felt, the desire to know as much as possible. Questions are asked by the selected. Outside on the street, a boy with an athletic body, big black eyes and thick black hair addresses me: “Can you give me an autograph? I am a third-year student of the Theater Academy. My name is Timo Flloko “I have a sister in Yugoslavia. My people are from Peja …” Those who accompanied me signaled me to hurry. – You will be the Albanian Omar Sharifi! – I say to the boy when we parted./Memorie.al