An Albanian family is torn apart by a murder, resulting in a blood feud that finds Nik becoming the prime target and his sister, Rudina, forced to leave school in order to take over the family business
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Thomas Bo Larsen,
This film's center is a family in Albania. The main characters are Rudina, the oldest daughter, and Nik, the oldest son. Both have a pretty normal life. Rudina is an A-student in high-school and Nik very popular. He just fell in love with one of his fellow students. Their father earns the families income with a little bread delivery service. For that he uses a short cut through the neighbours ground, but the neighbour doesn't necessarily like that. But the ground had actually belonged to Rudina's and Nik's family once. One day the conflict escalates and the neighbour gets killed by Rudina's and Nik's father and their uncle. Because only their uncle gets caught by the police and their father is able to hide, the old law of blood feud is against the family. They cannot leave their house. Only the women of the family are allowed to leave the house. So Rudina has to quit school and continue the bread delivery service of the father, so the family can survive. The situation is tense as ... Written by
Music & Lyrics by Naser Gjinovci
Arranged by Florent Boshnjaku
Orchestrated by Meti Qaka, Xhengiz Boshnjaku (NRG Band)
Performed by Besnik Qaka (NRG Band)
Courtesy of Meti Qaka & Besnik Qaka(NRG Band) See more »
A whopping eight years after his debut feature Maria Full of Grace, Joshua Marston has finally returned with his follow-up, the Albanian drama The Forgiveness of Blood. Co-written with Andamion Murataj, Marston's Blood is a quiet, intimate look at the rift formed within a family after a blood feud forces them to live in isolation as penance. Marston certainly brought a level of intelligence to the story, with a focused look at the customs in Albania that would lead to this kind of standoff, which can apparently last for many years without being able to leave your home out of fear for your life.
Blood focuses primarily on Nik, the eldest son of the household who is the one most impacted by the events, and Rudina, the eldest daughter who is forced to give up school in order to take on the responsibilities that the men are no longer able to provide for. Marston refuses to add any level of artificial tension to this natural drama, instead letting the leisured pace build the intensity to its natural boiling point, although one could say that it never quite reaches that. The Forgiveness of Blood sizzles without ever pouring ever, which makes it less dramatically compelling but also more authentic in many ways.
It's the frustration growing within the walls of the household that drive the tension forward, with Nik going stir crazy inside and Rudina struggling with having to mature at a rapid pace as a result of her increased responsibility. With Maria Full of Grace, Marston plucked the young Catalina Sandino Moreno out of obscurity and brought her to an Oscar nomination for her first film role, and he once again demonstrates his gift with actors here, drawing superb performances out of first- timers Tristan Halilaj and Sindi Lacej, who portray Nik and Rudina.
The naturalism that Marston absorbs the picture in flows directly into their performances, which never hit a false note even in the more raw moments of familial discourse. Marston does such a brilliant job of bringing as much authenticity to the picture as possible, almost to a point where it detracts from the overall impact of it. He is certainly a unique voice in cinema today and this quiet drama is a firm example of that. Hopefully we won't have to wait another eight years to see what he pulls out next.
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