By focusing on how this tradition effects two teenagers, cut off from their friends and schooling, the film misses an opportunity to say something truly revealing.
Fascinating and very suspenseful, even if it ends up seeming a bit contrived. It certainly brings home in a powerful way the horror of growing up in a culture that has blood feuds. At the same time, it shows how the feuds and the sense of keeping to one's place really hold together this backward village society, where women are only valuable as livestock. Everyone would just leave if they didn't feel so obligated.
I liked it, despite my complete lack of knowledge on the subject matter of albanian blood feuds. The realist style an interesting choice, but the one question I wish it answered was why this tradition is still in practice today? But it seems that the focus of the film was the toll this takes on the members of the family more than anything else.
Disappointing, rather lifeless take on an intriguing and fullblooded subject-matter from a culture most of us know little or nothing about. But there is one lovely, transcendent moment, where the girl bows her head in a lovely, shy moment when alone with Nik -for the briefest glimmer she transforms the humdrum film into a Rembrandt painting.
The script by Marston and Murataj is a somewhat simplistic look at archaic tradition in Albania, namely the interpertation of the Kanun that still overrides socially the practise of law. Marston however as a director seems to be looking at this with a very westernized world view and never really gets under the skin of why this tradtion is still prevalent.
I "want-to-see" this for one reason and only: to find out why an Albanian film made by an American director gets more attention than the whole of the Albanian cinematography...