Sworn Virgin (Vergine giurata)
dir. Laura Bispuri, Italy/Switzerland/Germany/Albania/Kosovo, 2015, DCP, 84 mins. color Italian and Albanian w/ English subtitles
Hana is growing up in an archaic alpine landscape in Albania where the old codes and traditional gender roles prevail. She escapes the fate of a wife and servant when, in accordance with the Kanun, the traditional Albanian law, she pledges herself to life-long virginity, thus sacrificing her femininity for perceived freedom. From now on, she is treated like a man. She is given a dagger and the name of Mark. But after ten years of seclusion, she decides to change her life and takes the train to Milan, where her sister lives with her family. She is not exactly expecting Hana ... In her debut feature film, Laura Bispuri accompanies a young woman on a difficult and painful odyssey, away from the old-fashioned world of the mountains and into the modern life of the city. The film relays the story of a woman who rediscovers her sexuality and draws on allegorical images to allude to the ambivalences in Hana's emotional life. This empathic study makes do with little dialogue, instead relying on glances, gestures and a protagonist who faces up to her own inconsistencies. FestivalScope
Virgin (Vergine giurata) will be introduce by Professor Stefania Benini
Stefania Benini was Lauro De Bosis Fellow at Harvard University (2014-2015), after having been Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Pennsylvania (2007-2014). Her research focus in Italian Studies involves the sacred, from literature to cinema and theatre. Other topics of interests include Italian women’s writing and cinema. Her volume Pasolini: the Sacred Flesh is forthcoming for Toronto University Press (2015).