Sworn Virgin

Monday 4.07.2016
Screening followed by Q&A
Lower Silesia Film Centre, room Warszawa

Sale: 12 PLN

*discount ticket
dir. Laura Bispuri, Albania, Italy, Kosovo, Switzerland, Germany, 2015, 84 min.

Life in the mountains of Albania is governed by strict patriarchal rules. For instance, one may find there a rule called kanunu, which permits burrneshas (Albanian: sworn virgins) to live as men and enjoy a freedom usually inaccessible to women. However, even burrneshas have to obey a series of taboos: they may, as men do, drink alcohol or use weapons, but they have to renounce tenderness, sex and motherhood. Also, they may not break their oath  it –is punishable by death, and that is why many of them emigrate from the country. An extraordinary film by Laura Bispury (Italy) shows Hana becoming Mark (a great performance by Alba Rohrwacher), who after the death of her stepparents decides to rediscover her femininity. As the director says herself: “My characters are strongly bound with their land and culture, which they love very much, and they miss them a lot in exile. However, they may not stay there, as they are unable to meet the imposed requirements. I did not want to judge, but to describe a world of strict rules – aimed mainly at women.” Confronting the main character with contemporary Italy, along with the taming which girls are subjected to, Sworn Virgin poses a question also about the Western vision of what femininity should be.

Film with English subtitles.