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Sworn Virgin 2015


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For centuries, girls in Albania have taken solemn vows of chastity and lived as men. In the modern day, one such person questions the decisions they’ve made.

An estranged relative arrives unannounced at a family home in Rome. All we are able to surmise about him is that he probably wasn’t born male. Flashbacks show us his story and reveal the severity of a partriarchal society. Mark was once Hana who, with her adoptive sister Lila, discovered in their adolescence the fate that lay in store for them. Lila is betrothed to a man she has not met and given a bullet – part of her dowry in case she displeases her new husband. Hana opts to never marry, and following ancient tradition – wherein she takes a solemn vow of chastity – learns to shoot and lives as a man. But in modern day Rome, Mark wonders if he hasn’t wasted his life. Beautifully shot and acted, Laura Bispuri’s film unfolds quietly, admirably refusing to pass judgement on anyone.

Tags: Laura Bispuri, Alba Rohrwacher, Emily Ferratello

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