If one can say with certainty that no film has ever been made in Italy about Italian soldiers in Albania before and after the Armistice, it is even more certain that in Albania that subject is a common trope of communist propaganda films from the 1950s to the 1980s. More often than not, the figure of the disbanded Italian soldier serves the myth of the good Albanian partisan. Thanks to these movies, I could reconstruct part of that missing story that my grandfather, and many like him, did not want to remember.
The General of the Dead Army (Italian: Il generale dell'armata morta) is a 1983 Italian film directed by Luciano Tovoli with Marcello Mastroianni and Michel Piccoli. It is based on the 1963 novel by Albanian author Ismail Kadare of the same name. In this italian adaptation of the book, contrary to all Albanian versions, the account of the Italian straggler soldier, which is inspired by the intimate diary rendered by the peasant who hid him, does not appear.