I once saw an episode of the excellent National Geographic television show “Taboo” which talked about blood feuds in African nations. The idea of the blood feud was somewhat romanticized in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” but the modern reality is much more intense: families locked in such conflict are often necessarily on self-imposed house arrest for fear that they will be seen by a rival and immediately killed. Their property will become a gated compound wherein they grow their own food; younger children may never have even been outside the walls.
Thus is the subject of the Albanian film “The Forgiveness of Blood” (original title: "Falja e Gjakut") which is presented in a short run as part of Village 8 Theater’s Louisville Exclusive series. The film focuses on Nik (Tristan Halilaj), a teenager who finds himself trapped in his own house after his father trespasses on a neighbor’s land, an act which leads to violence, and ultimately, a deadly grudge.
The film was directed and co-written by Joshua Marston, who is best known for his much-acclaimed Colombian film “Maria Full of Grace.” (He also directed a segment of the compound film “New York, I Love You” [which was inspired by the fantastic “Paris Je T’aime”].) “The Forgiveness of Blood” was Albania’s original submission for Best Foreign Language film for this year’s Academy Awards, but because Marston is an American filmmaker, it was declared ineligible. (The submission instead went to Bujar Aliman’s “Amnesty”; it was not nominated.)
“The Forgiveness of Blood” plays at Village 8 Theater until this upcoming Thursday, April 5. Village 8 is located at 4014 Dutchman’s Lane. Theater information and showtimes can be found at the Village 8 website.
Image courtesy of the Internet Movie Database.