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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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
An Albanian family is torn apart by a murder, resulting in a blood feud. This is a very good film about a generation gap in Albania. The grownups live in the old world, according to the old laws of the land (well the laws of North Albania, since blood feuds are mostly found there). The younger generation does not see any point to the tradition and unlike the grown ups sees other ways of solving problems.
If you watch this because you want to see a film about blood feud you will be disappointed. Watch this as a film about generation gaps. Keep in mind while watching this that there where only a handful of cars in the country when the father of this boy grew up. And the boy has a mobile, computer and the whole world at his finger tips. Albania took a 100 year jump into modern time in just 10 years. The difference between the generations is therefore greater than in most other countries in the world.
I have lived in Albania and I'm married to a woman from Albania so this film really spoke to me. It is surprisingly well directed. It is hard to believe that the director does not speak a word in Albanian and managed to get such natural acting out of the cast and have such good insight into Albanian culture.
The film is very well filmed. The camera is primarily there to tell a story and support that story, not to make postcard pictures to admire. And it does that very well.
The style of the film reminded me of the films by the Dardenne brothers. Very realistic, low scale and natural. I do think it helps watching this film from that point of view. This is a character driven film, not plot driven.
Another surprisingly good film from the director of Maria Full of Grace (2004).
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