Kaleb Wentzel-Fisher


Albania built 750,000 bunkers for a war that never happened.

From 1967 to 1986 Albania built 750,000 bunkers for a war that would never happen. With a population of only 3,000,000, the bunkers totaled one for every four citizens. The construction of these concrete domes led to years of isolation, economic crisis, and corruption. Concrete Empire is a feature length documentary that explores the history of the Albanian people; their trials, tribulations and triumphs during and after communist rule.

The film poses many questions: How is a community shaped by extreme paranoia and isolation? How do individuals live through extreme hardship? How does a nation redefine itself in such a short time? How does a nation balance the well-being of its citizens with the costs of national security?

Concrete Empire uses the bunkers as a narrative canvas to paint a portrait of this unique and unusual past. The construction of the bunkers shaped Albania's history; politically, economically, and culturally. They are a constant for Albania, an inescapable memory scattering the landscape. The film intends not only to show the incredible hardships the Albanian people have endured but also their pride and character.

Concrete Empire is ultimately a film about a little-known country and the quality of the human spirit there.