The Albanian virgin Regie Bujar Alimani ; Drehbuch Katja Kittendorf


This film takes place in the mountains of North Albania, where all aspects of life have been ruled for centuries by customary law, known in its codified form as the “Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini”. Among these traditions, the “sworn virgin” phenomenon is the only way for the main character to escape her fate. The film sets the action in the ethno-cultural context of the region, describing sociologically contentious notions like patriarchy and blood-feud. In this male dominated society, women are subordinated to and oppressed by men. The Kanun is stern and merciless, the girl who takes the oath must assume a position which comes closer to that of a man and can’t revert her decision. The positive aspect though, is that she gets the respect due to the male sex. The film takes place during the years 1958-1968, where Albania was the most isolated country in Europe, ruled with Stalinist methods by Enver Hoxha. The film ends in 1991, when the two main characters reassess their life choices. A prior film on the same topic, Vergine giurata by Laura Bispuri, also available in the BnL, shows the heroine moving to another country and questioning her identity. In the Albanian Virgin however, the masculine side of the girl is better portrayed by the striking Kosovan actress Rina Krasniqi. With the current gender discussions going on worldwide, this film shows the fluid nature of personal identity, even in very traditional societies.

Available in the Media Center

Last update