July 31 2017 Drama Movies Newsletter
"I chose this story because I felt a deep attachment to Hana/Mark, with whom I fell in love. I felt a strong sympathy between the story, the character and my inner world. But it was not only about this. I believe that every director should have a sense of responsibility when choosing a story, and I think that this story contains important and contemporary reflections about femininity and, in general, about the meaning of human freedom. I think this is an original story and it takes the viewer into a little known story, then invites the viewer to consider universal questions." Filmmaker Laura Bispuri
The sworn virgin tradition in Albanian culture arose partly for economic reasons. Families who lost their male patriarchs were in limbo as women were without legal rights. A woman was allowed to make decisions for the family if she agreed to become celibate and adopt male dress and attitudes. Also, as one surviving sworn virgin stated; when she was born 80 years ago, women and animals were considered the same. Becoming a sworn virgin was a way to escape the female's lowly status.
In a 2008 "New York Times" article, writer Dan Bilefsky detailed the changes in Albanian culture and the fact that the sworn virgin tradition is slowly dying. (There are around 40 survivors still living as men.) He states, "Girls no longer want to become boys." This is a misunderstanding of the situation. Sworn virgins were not transgender or necessarily lesbians. They simply wanted the rights and independence they were denied as women.
Laura Bispuri is already at work on her next film, "Daughter of Mine". The story concerns the adoptive and biological mothers of a young girl and their attempts to become the dominant force in her life. Alba Rohrwacher, the lead actress in "Sworn Virgin", plays one of the mothers. The other star is Valeria Golino, who is the director of last week's featured film "Honey". "Daughter of Mine" will examine the situation from the three females' point-of-view.
Note: News broke today that Sam Shepard died. The actor, screenwriter, director, and playwright was 73. I recently reviewed "Thunderheart" in which Shepard played a supporting role. Next week, I'll be reviewing a film in which Shepard made one of his last appearances. Feel free to visit the forum and share what you consider your fave Shepard performance.
Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.
Sworn Virgin Film Review
Filmmaker Laura Bispuri makes her feature film debut with this intriguing tale about Albania's sworn virgin tradition. Alba Rohrwacher plays a woman who has relinquished her feminine identity but gradually attempts to reconcile her independence with her sexuality.
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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor
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