How can one find the power to forgive?

TRADITION: An age old Albanian tribal code forces a bereaved family to reconcile with their daughter’s murderer.
Director: Marija Zidar
Country: Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo

In 2013, in the highlands of Albania, an 18-year-old girl named Gjyste Paplekaj was shot and killed. According to the ancient code of conduct called Kanun, which despite different efforts to outlaw, still regulates life for a large part of the population in the north and centre of Albania – reconciliation is possible between the family of the victim and that of the killer. It is a process that can start a year after the killing and involves priests, friends, and acquaintances. Marija Zidar’s film captures the weight and the pain of this attempt at mediation, and in the process, reveals the depth of the cross-generational conflict that culminated in Gjyste’s death.

Reconciliation, a film by Marija Zidar
Reconciliation, a film by Marija Zidar

The weight of what remains

Each shot of Zidar’s film bares the weight of what remains in the aftermath of the young girl’s death. Both sides – her family and the family of the killer – are hurt, and the ones attempting to have them reconcile, go back and forth. They offer understanding to the victim’s family, and space to repent to the other side, trying to create . . .

Dear reader. To continue reading, please create your free account with your email,
or login if you have registered already. (click forgotten password, if not in an email from us).
A subscription is only 9€ 🙂

- Advertisement -

What about a subscription, for full access and 2-3 print copies in your mail a year?
(Modern Times Review is a non-profit organisation, and really appreciate such support from our readers.) 

Bianca-Olivia Nita
Bianca is a freelance journalist and documentary critic. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.

Industry news

Cinéma du réel previews programme for 44th festival editionFollowing the two online editions, the 44th Cinéma du réel aims to return to theatres with guests, events, and...
FIPADOC finalises 2022 programmeFIPADOC has released the remaining titles of nearly 200 for its fourth edition, to be held in Biarritz from...
DocPoint moves 2022 festival entirely onlineThe original plan for #DocPoint 2022 was as a hybrid event. However, due to the current #COVID-19 restrictions in...
LABOUR: All-In (dir: Volkan Üce)A new world of colourful bikinis and intense demands opens up to two shy young men working at an all-inclusive hotel on the Turkish Riviera.
IDENTITY: Travesti Odyssey (dir: Nicolas Videla)Intertwined with days of protests, the final days of Chile's radical Cabaret Travesía Travesti show how important it is that the trans community stands up to tell its own stories.
BEIRUT: Beirut: Eye of the Storm (dir: Mai Masri)Four progressive women document the 2019 Beirut uprisings, until Covid-19 hits.
JUSTICE: The Forever Prisoner (dir: Alex Gibney)Twenty years on Guantánamo Bay's first high-value detainee has still never been charged with a crime or allowed to challenge his detention.
SYRIA: Our Memory Belongs To Us (dir: Rami Farah)How does one survive in times of war? By forgetting, or by remembering...?
ENVIRONMENT: Medusa (dir: Chloé Malcotti)How Belgian chemical business activities brought both prosperity and pollution to one coastal Italian village.