'American Imperialism Is Only a Paper Tiger.' As slogans go, it's neither very catchy, nor very true. Worst of all, it's 36 letters long, which means hours of labour for Diana's class of kids, who have to spell out this Party propaganda in white stones across a hillside overlooking the village. We're in Albania, just a little over 20 years ago - it might feel like a different century, but those kids are still under 30 and apparently this was common practice. Comrade Andre, the new biology teacher, puts his pupils to work on 'Up with the Revolutionary Spirit', and is surprised they're impressed by its brevity. Andre has a lot to learn about the way slogans influence life in this rural backwater. Xhuvani's film of Ylljet Aliçka's novel The Stones Slogans is vaguely reminiscent of recent Loach-lite proletarian comedies (Brassed Off, The Full Monty) and, more specifically, of those wry Eastern European satires which occasionally slipped through the Iron Curtain in the late '60s. Dry and rueful rather than bitter and angry, the film still adds up to a devastating critique of the Enver Hoxha regime. Local Party apparatchiks exploit their position to blackmail citizens for sexual favours and punish personal enemies with public humiliation. Meanwhile, the kids accept their lot with impassive resignation. Remember: 'The Worst Enemy Is the Forgotten One.'
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Ylljet Aliçka, Yves Hanchar|