Posted by: greercn | August 12, 2012

The Forgiveness Of Blood

Two astonishing young leads – reminiscent of the charisma of Kirsten Stewart and Robert Pattinson in their best Twilight moments – lift this from an “it’s grim in rural Albania” plaint to a universal and moving story.

Nik (Tristan Halilaj) and his sister Rudina (Sindi Lacej) have their lives torn apart when their father and uncle are accused of killing a neighbour, who has blocked an access road vital to their small business of selling bread.

The detail in director Joshua Marston’s tale is just gorgeous. Despite lovely settings, there is real poverty and a lack of opportunity for all, especially women and that reminds the viewer how much of the world lives with very little.

It’s a slow story, yet the two young leads engage your attention and compel you to feel their plight is real.

I hate the title. It feels like it limits the appeal.

You can see the whole thing for free on YouTube but I saw it at the Curzon Soho in a small audience. It’s Olympics time in London and everyone is glued to their TVs. If you can, see this movie on a big screen.

After two weeks in the Olympic Park, at the pool, I had deep withdrawal from film and needed to go to the cinema.

My friend chose to see this and I was very glad he did as I might have missed it otherwise. It’s a very thought-provoking tale of ancient feuds and unforgiven conflicts.

Many of the conventions here are those of Westerns and it’s strange to see horses and carts used alongside scooters and mobile phones.

It’s quirky and different. The two young leads will be stars. I don’t think the Albanian tourist bureau will be using images from this in their advertising, any time soon.

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