Critic Reviews



Based on 24 critic reviews provided by
It's the kind of movie that makes the world feel like a smaller place, suggesting that the similarities connecting us across continents and cultures are more resonant than the things that divide us.
This gripping if tamped-down drama is steeped in ancient Albanian culture, where the real, tragic consequences of blood feuds can keep families trapped in their homes for generations.
Village Voice
Marston nails the claustrophobia of small-town life and the turbulent emotionalism of teenagers, but what pushes the film toward sublimity is the way he delicately captures all of the characters' inner lives as their world slowly crumbles.
There is so much to admire in Joshua Marston's The Forgiveness of Blood that it's easy to overlook the miracle at its center: Marston's artistic idealism.
The result is a film of great humanity that reveals Albania as a primitive region struggling to bridge the gap between medieval European customs and the tide of progress.
[A] compelling film touching on the perils of being young - that's it, merely young - in a culture without justice.
Just as Marston's scrupulous attention to local custom and devotion to social realism recall the work of John Sayles (Lone Star), his occasionally enervating style also recalls Sayles at his worst.
No matter how sincere, Marston's effort also suffers from the lack of a burning lead as he had in Maria's Catalina Sandino Moreno. Fierce acting is a virtue you don't have to travel the world to find - or to lose sight of.
Slant Magazine
The film wisely avoids giving its material a large-scale epic quality it can't sustain, but it also results in a project that lacks the complexity to register as more than a handsome little sketch.
Frustratingly, though, perhaps because he is an outsider and was concerned about appearing biased about another culture, about all that Mr. Marston does is chew on this clash, as if the repeated images of teenagers talking on cellphones next to a horse-drawn cart were a substitute for a strong filmmaking point of view.

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