The Forgiveness of Blood

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Director Joshua Marston, screenwriter Andamion Murataj, and actors Tristan Halilaj and Sindi Lacej discuss the film The Forgiveness of Blood. A richly textured look at a modern Albanian family caught up in a blood feud, the film won awards for Best Screenplay at the 2011 Berlin and Chicago film festivals and the Special Jury Prize at the Hamptons Film Festival. It opens at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and Landmark Sunshine Cinema on February 24.


Tristan Halilaj, Sindi Lacej, Joshua Marston and Andamion Murataj

Comments [11]


I think the blood feuds are revived after the communism fell for two main reasons: 1. after a 50 year ban by the communist government, people were able to claim ownership and fight for it
2. after communism collapsed in early '90-s, the government was/is very weak and corrupted, thus unable to deliver justice, so people take justice in their own hands.

This is the 2nd movie about Albania for the western public, after "L'America" which focuses in the exodus of Albanian immigrants when communism collapsed, and of course is traumatic, and so is "The forgiveness of blood." Unfortunately, the public gets a very limited view about Albanians and their country from these two movies, but the truth is that foreigners who have been fortunate to travel in Albania, come back to their countries with unforgettable memories of smart, ambitious, generous people in an exceptionally beautiful country. I hope that talented movie directors would be able to provide the public with movies about the bright side of Albania and capture the Albanians' spirit of survival and their energy pursuing the western dream. That spirit is embodied in the Albanian language which is in the very bottom (close to the roots) of the tree of languages. All the other co-existing languages, developed into other languages, branched out, some died out, but the Albanian language didn't go anywhere, developed and survived as its own, used by only a few million Albanians.

Feb. 23 2012 08:59 PM

@Elle from Brooklyn

Yes is true ... As sad as it sound
...but only in few places in northern Albania.

Feb. 23 2012 04:38 PM
Ruben from Manhattan

@Morfin, Albanians take their women seriously. It is not advisable to joke about their mothers, daughters, sisters and wives. Sometimes even female friends are off limits.

@Elle, that is most likely a myth rather than a practice. It is assumed that it has happened at certain parts of Albania, but there are no proof. The myth was popularized by a screenplay during communism and was meant to defame the old Albanian traditions which were despised by communists.

That said, Albanian women traditionally lacked a public role in the society. They were strongly protected but lacked rights and freedom. The situation is changing fast though and in certain parts there is basically no difference from the rest of Europe.

Feb. 23 2012 04:07 PM
Bill from New York, NY

Reminders for those who geography is like a foreign language: Albania is in Europe (South-East), the language is very different from the Slavic countries near by, or from the Greeks south Albania. They are very smart people, everyone knows at least one foreign language, and schools have very good reputations. There are students from Albania in Harvard, Yale, Princeton and all the top schools in US. And we know how difficult is to get accepted to these universities. Also, the classical music is very established, there are some very well-known singers such as Inva Mula, Ermonela Jaho, etc. that sing at La Scala and more.

Feb. 23 2012 02:12 PM
Marc from Scarsdale, NY

Responding to a comment from illfg: google Albanian language before you speak. Ignorance is killing this country. I travelled Albania last year, and the beaches in the south are the best, food is delicious and people are very nice and friendly. There is a thought about linguists that the old Greek language is more closer to Albanian language than to new Greek.

Feb. 23 2012 01:59 PM
Zoti from Brooklyn

@ Elle from Brooklyn: That used to be an old tradition that has died out for decades now. The Communists after taking over in 1945 set on the path of modernsiing the country. They sure failed us economically but they did wonders in terms of women's emancipation and education.

Feb. 23 2012 01:42 PM

This is true and I even seen milder incidents in Brooklyn. When I was a child attending school in Brooklyn, one kid said "Yo Mama" as a joke to an Albanian kid. The Albanian kid became livid. You could see the rage in his eyes. Fortunately, a teacher was nearby to hold him back otherwise the other kid would have been beated.

Feb. 23 2012 12:59 PM
jgarbuz from Queen

Albania. Another corrupt, tribal and bloody failed Muslim state.

Feb. 23 2012 12:58 PM
Elle from Brooklyn

My husband spent several years working for the UN in the Balkans. He told me that on her wedding day, an Albanian bride's father gives her husband a bullet with a ribbon around it to symbolize that he is transferring to her husband the right of life and death over her. Is this true?

Feb. 23 2012 12:46 PM

um.. pretty sure chinese and any language from India predates Albanian.

Feb. 23 2012 12:44 PM
Lori from NYC

what else is Mr. Murataj working on after the forgiveness of the blood?

Feb. 23 2012 12:10 PM

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