Director: Gianni Amelio
Year Released: 1994
A group of Italian capitalists try to exploit the country of Albania by setting up a corporation with a senile figurehead - the only problem is that the old man manages to get away, so one of the Italian businessmen has to chase after him. What follows is a grim voyage through Hell on Earth, as the Italian and the fake CEO go through a country ravaged by political tyranny and poverty - it's an Odyssey of sorts, complete with bizarre interludes (including a dancing girl) and countless obstacles (not to mention jail) before voyaging to America and hopefully a better life. It plays out like a half-forgotten dream, aided by Amelio's detached view of the lower classes and his rolling narrative; it doesn't bog itself down with didacticism, either, or provide easy answers (the final scene is one of high anxiety for the countless people stuffed on the boat). Though a bit morose for my own tastes (which is why I can't rate it any higher), it's very impressive.