(KTSF by Sean Au)
American director, Joshua Marston wants to tell stories that most people have never seen or heard before. This time, he takes us to eastern Europe’s Albania to learn about the blood feuds that have existed over centuries.
High school student Nik (Tristan Halilaj) dreams of opening an Internet cafe after graduating while expressing interest to court a schoolmate. These may look like simple goals, except the obstacles are unsurmountable. Nik’s father and uncle killed a man. Under the Kunan way of life passed down from the ancestors, the victim’s family has the right to take the lives of the perpetuators or the lives of male members in the family. This has sent Nik’s father into hiding and placed Nik under house arrest. Nik’s sister, Rudina (Sindi Lacej) is also forced to quit school and take over the family business of delivering bread in the village.
This is the second film from Joshua Marston in 8 years. His previous movie MARIA FULL OF GRACE also digs deep into the world of drug mules, a subject and community that few venture in. Marston acknowledges that it is his intention to tell stories that most people have not heard of.
“It is an interesting challenge to take all these journalistic information to create a fictional story out of it,” explains Marston. “So that people feel like they, for two hours, have been living in this country that they know nothing about, and they come out feeling some sort of cross cultural experience based on going to the movies.”
The non professional actors, under Marston’s direction, turn in convincing and sincere performances, bringing the audience one giant step closer to understanding this world far away.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Video courtesy of IFC Films. THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD is also available VOD.
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