An Albanian family is torn apart by a murder, resulting in a blood feud that makes eldest son Nik a prime target and forces his sister, eldest daughter Rudina, to leave school in order to take over the family business.
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Gísli Örn Garðarsson,
Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir,
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
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This film centers on a family in Albania, with main characters Rudina, the oldest daughter, and Nik, the oldest son. Both have a pretty normal life. Rudina is an A-student in high school hoping to continue on at university; Nik, very popular, is just falling in love with a classmate while dreaming of opening a business with a friend. Their father earns the family's income through a little bread delivery service, for which he shortcuts across his neighbours' ground. The neighbour resents this, even though the ground had actually once belonged to Rudina's and Nik's family. One day the conflict escalates and the neighbour gets killed by Rudina's and Nik's father and their uncle. Because the police only catch their uncle while their father successfully goes into hiding, the old law of blood feud is invoked against the family, whereby all males enter into virtual house arrest. Since only the women of the family can leave, Rudina has to quit school to continue her father's bread delivery ... Written by
This powerful film immerses us in an ancient culture that continues to exist in modern times. Even as the inhabitants of the Albanian village enjoy television and the young use their cell phones to communicate, freshly-baked loaves of bread are delivered by horse-drawn cart. Without the glimpses of modern technology, we would think we were watching a drama from the 19th Century because of the nature of the feuding (stones placed on a dirt road to block passage) and the very clear, iron-clad rules from the Kanun for resolving the fallout from the feud that escalates to violence The film illuminates the powerful strictures under which the two feuding families live. Honor and respect may seem to us strange concepts to employ, following what we would consider a felonious crime and a matter for the police and a governmental system of justice, but the Kanun lays out the terms under which those who are deemed to have harmed another must isolate themselves and their families. Tradition provides a pathway to settling the feud, but there is no timetable for ending the state of being a pariah. It is the entire family who is societally harmed when the father takes a feud to its ultimate level.
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