The flight of Albanians to Italy two decades ago is the subject of Rolando Sejko’s “Anija. The Ship,” a docu whose similarity to Daniele Vicari’s recent “The Human Cargo” could limit its exposure, despite the films’ different approaches. It’s a shame, as Sejko’s less-concentrated vision makes the two valuable companion pieces, notwithstanding a chunk also covered in Vicari’s pic (and a shared talking head in the articulate Eva Karafili). “Anija” touches on the journey as well as life before and after, combining interviews with archival footage for a sense of the whole phenomenon. Euro TV is a likely home.
Unlike most docus about Albania, this one acknowledges that happy childhood memories exist even in Maoist societies. Still, by 1991, the country’s anarchic situation precipitated the start of a mass exodus via overcrowded ships often commandeered on the spot. Sejko covers a range of social classes while focusing on the success stories; more on rampant Italian anti-Albanian prejudice would have been instructive, especially for outsiders. Editing is solid, though Robert Bisha’s ballet-like music misguidedly makes disturbing newsreels of desperate refugees feel like elegant choreography rather than literally life-threatening leaps of faith.