- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 49 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: October 16, 2012
- Originally Released: 2011
- Label: Criterion
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Note: Audio Commentary by Director and Cowriter Joshua Marston
- Two new programs: Acting Close to Home, a discussion between Marston and actors Refet Abazi, Tristan Halilaj, and Sindi Lacej, and Truth on the Ground, featuring new and on-set interviews with Producer Paul Mezey, Abazi, Halilaj, and Lacej
- Audition and Rehearsal Footage
- Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by film writer Oscar Moralde
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - Albanian
- Dolby Digital Surround - Albanian
- Subtitles - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Film Comment - 01/01/2012
"[T]he naturalistic nonprofessional performances shine, and a slow-burn tension is sustained."
Los Angeles Times - 02/24/2012
"Working with director of photography Rob Hardy, the filmmaker uses a documentary style to give the film a day-in-the-life feel."
Wall Street Journal - 02/24/2012
"[A] work of fiction, based on present-day fact, that's quietly affecting and surprisingly dramatic..."
Movieline - 02/23/2012
"It's the kind of movie that makes the world feel like a smaller place, suggesting that the similarities connecting us across continents and cultures are more resonant than the things that divide us."
New York Times - 02/23/2012
"Using nonprofessional Albanian performers, real locations, minimal music and what looks like natural light Mr. Marston has worked hard at authenticity....He makes some fine filmmaking choices..."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/02/2012
"[G]ripping...steeped in ancient Albanian culture....The largely non-professional Albanian cast is excellent." -- Grade: B+
Total Film - 09/01/2012
4 stars out of 5 -- "Thoroughly researched, it smartly depicts the clash between old and new in a country aching for modernisation."
Sight and Sound - 09/01/2012
"Every scene in the film seems to present startling juxtapositions of the modern and the old....[The film] compellingly exposes an important contradiction in modern Albanian life with commitment, sincerity and evident passion."
A young man faces a life paying for the misdeeds of his elders in this drama. Nik (Tristan Halilaj) is a teenager growing up in a small village in Albania; he has little interest in his father's baking business, and is more concerned with surfing the Internet, hanging out with his friends and trying to impress Bardha (Zana Hasaj), a pretty girl he knows from school. But whatever future Nik might hope for is put on hold when his father Mark (Refet Abazi) revives a long-standing feud over a land dispute with his neighbor Sokol (Veton Osmani), leading to a violent confrontation that claims Sokol's life. An ancient Albanian tradition has it that the survivors of a violent murder can kill a man from the family that committed the crime without consequence; however, they can only do so in the open, so Nik and the other men in his household are only safe as long as they stay in their home. As Nik's sister Rudina (Sindi Lacej) takes over the family business, his world is reduced to the inside of the family residence, which proves to be almost as maddening as the possibility of being murdered. American filmmaker Joshua Marston shot THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD on location in Albania using a cast of local actors; the film was an official selection at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
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