Her classic folktale with a modern happily ever after, Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin) will be available on DVD and streaming in the US on 7/12, brought to you by the independent film distribution company Strand Releasing.
Here’s your chance to talk with Laura and find out more about her and the movie!
Once upon a time, a girl named Hana was bewitched by an ancient custom and lived 20 years as a man until love and courage woke her from her spell…
Laura Bispuri’s ‘Sworn Virgin’ (Vergine Giurata), premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and for me, it was like a favorite fairy tale. The heroine, Hana, was lost in the woods for a while, but bread crumbs lead her out of the darkness and she found her way home.
Hana’s (played by Alba Rohrwacher) life is dictated by the tradition of her northern Albanian homeland. There, women can’t hold a man’s job, smoke, drink, or carry firearms, UNLESS, they give up their femininity. For a variety of different reasons (and I am guessing homosexuality is one of them) women can renounce their gender, and live as men, but they must swear to remain virgins.
This practice is clearly disappearing, because even some Albanians I have spoken to haven’t heard of it, but it does still exist. In Sworn Virgin, Hana isn’t a lesbian; she just wants to drink and shoot guns. More than that, she wants the right to do those things just like the boys can.
Hana’s adopted sister Lila (played by Flonja Kodheli) sees the writing on the wall early on and leaves, middle fingers blazing, when her father tells it’s time to marry and that he’s giving her husband a bullet in case he ever feels like shooting her.
Though Laura could, she never crams it down our throats. She doesn’t preach. She doesn’t even judge. “The beauty of the film is that it is without judgment”, said the film’s star, Alba Rohrwacher. “It’s reality with a delicate touch, and it doesn’t demonize this reality. It looks at the phenomenon in a very loving way,” and she pointed to part of the film in which the mother, played by Ilire Vinca Celaj, lovingly tells her girls what is expected of them in life. It is not good to have a man’s job. It is not good to drink or smoke. It is not good to choose your own husband.
She just tells the tale of Hana, who breaks her spell and sheds the chains that bind her.
Intrigued? We’re planning a pre-release Twitter chat with Laura Bispuri, next weekend (date and time TBA) and we want to answer all of your questions, so send them to me HERE [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
If you Tweet, you can watch for your submitted question or jump in and ask more. If you don’t, WHY NOT? Sign up and follow me, @Italian_Movies, Laura Bispuri (@bispuri) , and the film@VergineGiurata. If you don’t, a transcript will be published here the next day.
If you want to speak to Laura in Italian, wonderful! If you don’t speak Italian, I’ll help with the translation.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #AskLauraBispuri.