8.6/10
163
2 user 5 critic

Zana (2019)

Haunted by her long suppressed past and pressured by family to seek treatment from mystical healers for her infertility, a Kosovar woman struggles to reconcile the expectations of motherhood with a legacy of wartime brutality.

Director:

Antoneta Kastrati
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Cast

Credited cast:
Mensur Safqiu Mensur Safqiu ... Dr. Murati
Adriana Matoshi Adriana Matoshi ... Lume
Molike Maxhuni Molike Maxhuni ... Mahije
Çun Lajçi Çun Lajçi ... Lume's Father
Astrit Kabashi Astrit Kabashi ... Ilir
Ilire Vinca Celaj Ilire Vinca Celaj ... Lume's Mother
Rozafa Celaj Rozafa Celaj ... Hysterical Girl
Irena Cahani Irena Cahani ... Kumria
Bislim Muçaj Bislim Muçaj ... Bajram
Vedat Bajrami Vedat Bajrami ... Vedat
Fatmire Sahiti Fatmire Sahiti ... Remzije
Aurora Berisha Aurora Berisha ... Zana
Shengyl Ismaili Shengyl Ismaili ... Shpresa
Luan Kryeziu Luan Kryeziu ... Doctor
Alketa Sylaj Alketa Sylaj ... Sick Girl on TV
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Storyline

In Kosovo, it is said that every mountain has its own Zana bathing in freshwater streams. These mystical creatures can heal, bestow bountiful gifts, and act as guardians to children who dare enter the woods. In a Kosovar village amid this shadowy world, Lume (Adriana Matoshi), an Albanian woman, lives with her husband Ilir (Astrit Kabashi) and mother-in-law Remzije (Fatmire Sahiti). Having lost her only child a decade earlier in the war, Lume is haunted by night terrors and unable to conceive. Desperate to fill a void, her family pressures her to seek magical healers to treat her infertility. When Lume resists, Remzije brings an eager, younger prospective wife to the home. Under threat of being replaced, Lume abandons modern medicine and agrees to explore traditional practices. But old traumas slowly rise to torment Lume. When Remzije catches her sleepwalking to a feared witch doctor, extreme measures are taken to protect the pending fetus from evil. Written by Toronto International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Kosovo | Albania

Language:

Albanian

Release Date:

7 September 2019 (Canada) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Well-crafted, Enthralling Exploration of the Wounds of War
17 September 2019 | by Raven-1969See all my reviews

Zana are mysterious beings from the forest who heal those who connect with them. Having lost a child in the recent war and haunted by nightmares of the experience, Lume is hesitant to bring another child into the world. Her husband and his mother put constant and extreme pressure on Lume to bear another child. They blame Lume and accuse her of being cursed. If only they or someone could help Lume with heartbreak.

Zana is dedicated to the mother and sisters the director lost in the war and drawn from Antoneta's own experiences. Antoneta also interviewed Albanian women whose experiences followed similar patterns. In exploring wounds of war Zana avoids the easy answers and the macho attitudes that make it harder for women to heal. Antoneta hopes to start conversations about the war and help women to talk about what they conceal inside. This is not the sole reason to see Zana, it is also a beautiful, jarring and well-crafted film. Though it is from a new director, actors, filmmakers and country, it is polished and enthralling. Seen at the Toronto international film festival.


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