Violent disputes amongst adults become the inescapable chains for the youth in Joshua Marston‘s (director of Maria Full of Grace) The Forgiveness of Blood. A powerful piece of work searching for a glimmer of humanity in the backdrop of Albania. Synopsis can be read as follows (via Berlinale 2011):
“Nik is seventeen and is in his last year at high school in northern Albania. Something of a go-getter, Nik has decided that, as soon as he has his school graduation in his hands, he wants to open an internet café. He has also recently started having feelings for girls – and has fallen in love with a girl in his class at school. Nik’s sister Rudina is fifteen; she too has a clear idea of what she wants from life and dreams of attending university.
But then their family becomes embroiled in a fight over ownership of some land and their father is accused of murder. All at once, Nik and Rudina find themselves drawn into a terrible vendetta.
According to dictates of the Kanun, Albania’s centuries-old traditional laws, none of the family’s male members – not even their young seven-year-old brother – may leave the house.
As long as their father is hiding in the mountains and Nik is prevented from showing his face in public, the family has to rely on Rudina, who is now obliged to leave school and take over her father’s affairs. The young girl clearly begins to flourish as a result of her new responsibility; her brother however feels nothing but anger and frustration as a result of his isolation. Somehow Nik has to put an end to this blood feud – even if it costs him his life.”
Watch the trailer down at the bottom of the page!
The Forgiveness of Blood, 2011