A Cassette Player Can Send One A Long Way

By: Valon Xoxa    June 24, 2015

“Smajl” is a documentary film that tells the story of a Kosovar family migrating to Germany in the 70s.The main character is Mr. Ismail Hoxhaj, the head of the family, who had gone to Germany to buy a cassette player. Circumstances of that time forced Ismail to drag along his whole family and open a new chapter in the lives of each of his household.

This documentary is directed by Philipp Meyer, a close family friend of the Hoxhaj’s, who in cooperation with the daughter of Mr. Ismail, Zymryte Hoxhaj, agreed to make the documentary.
“… this documentary is about the life and work of my dad, an immigrant in Germany, who alongside many from the Balkans, he had found plenty of work in the then redeveloping German state”, said Hoxhaj for KultPlus Magazine. This documentary includes political and social issues faced by Albanians in the 70s, as well as the activities of various diaspora movements. The film also includes the daily life of the children, growing up in a foreign environment and adapting to life in Germany with a radically different cultural background.

What differs the Hoxhaj family, is basically Mr. Ismajls dedication at looking for a cassette player, and getting so much more out of the bargain.
Watch the documentary trailer through the BunkHouse Filmmakers here, or through Vimeo where you can watch the trailer with English subtitles here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 3.04.03 PM
Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 3.04.03 PM

Valon Xoxa

Valon Xoxa is a staff member of Kosovodiaspora.org. He holds a bachelor degree from Westminster College (MO) in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology. Currently resides in Prishtina, and is a freelance contributor and editor at KosovoDiaspora.org. With an interest in contemporary culture, he seeks to find and incorporate articles from the Kosovar Diaspora that would shed light upon the interesting characteristics of this important global community. He has published a research article through UNDP’s School on Human Development titled “Mobility and Public Participation: A Case Study of the Kosovar Diaspora”, where a rather interesting Andersonian perspective is taken at understanding the Internet as a national identity creation medium.

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