Two Italian businessmen travel to post-Communist Albania to exploit Albania's economic turmoil by setting up a fraudulent company. They make a homeless 70-year-old former political prisoner the company's figurehead, but one of them realizes as time passes that the values of the old man are better than the immoral promptings of greed. LAMERICA is a well-made movie that tells its profound story with poignancy and a moral conscience that punishes crime, extols kindness and is devoid of violence, sex or nudity.
In LAMERICA, two businessmen, Gino and Fiore, travel to post-Communist Albania to exploit Albania’s economic turmoil by setting up a dummy company. Required by law to find a local head of their company, they come across Spiro, a 70-year old former political prisoner. Spiro thinks he is still a young man on the way home to his wife and young son. When Spiro escapes, Gino gives chase. In the course of his pursuit, Gino experiences the harshness of an Albania. When the scam is uncovered by officials, Fiore is arrested, Gino’s passport is confiscated and Gino finds himself among one of the numerous refugees trying to get to Italy.
LAMERICA is told in a fluid story-telling style. Gino, played extremely well by Enrico Lo Verso, is at first brash and arrogant and condescending to the Albanians until he is stripped of his material possessions and his idenitty and learns a valuable lesson in understanding his fellowmen. The director sends out a warning that while the story is set in Albania, this film is directed at Italians today. While they are gathering their wealth, they should remember the values of the past when post-war Italy was not that different from Albania. LAMERICA showcases human ideals rather than religious ones. Nevertheless, LAMERICA shows that a quality film can be made without violence, sex or nudity.
(Ac, B, RH, H, LL, V, M) Anti-communist though humanist worldview with moral messages and some revisionist history in the portrayal of Albania's post-Communist era with its rising materialism; 13 obscenities; 1 violent clash between police & crowd; smoking cigarettes; and, themes of greed, manipulation of a country's political situation, corporate deceit, bribery, corruption of officials, & stealing