Sworn Virgin will be available TOMORROW for DVD purchase or streaming in the USA!
You are not going to want to miss the chance to see Laura Bispuri’s beautiful debut feature film Vergine Giurata, Sworn Virgin, starring Alba Rohrwacher and Flonja Kodheli. It’s about an Northern Albanian girl who takes a vow to live her life as a man and remain a virgin in order to enjoy the freedoms that women do not have in their culture.
It was the first I Love Italian Movies Twitter Chat and Laura Bispuri our first guest – Grazie tante Laura! There was a mix-up about the time and a half hour is not enough time when you have a fascinating director like Laura, but we got some of your great questions in, and here’s what she had to say about her movie, Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin).
Eric Emch from New York, NY asked two questions: “Was it difficult telling of a society of gender inequality without personal judgment?” and “What drew you to this story?”
Laura: Yes it was very difficult. I was very attracted to Albanian culture and I loved this country so much. Of course the mountains in Albania has a very strong culture without freedom for women. In any case, I didn’t want to show the Albanian world like a dark world and Italy like a positive one or a dream, so I tried to tell about something that is difficult for women’s freedom in both places. In this way it makes the argument more universal.
Kristen Theologus from Temecula, California asked: “How does your film differ from Elvira Dones documentary?”
Laura: I read the Elvira Dones’s book and I thought that this was the perfect story for my first feature film. I loved the character of Hana/Mark, I was very close to her/him. Then, I thought that this story was about a world that nobody knows, about Albanian law of Kanun, about Albanian mountain society. It was a very specific place but inside the story there were a lot of questions about femininity and freedom and femininity and identity. And this theme is very important for me.
Joyce Mariani of Cleveland, Ohio asked: Are there countries that will not show your film because of the subject matter?
Laura: No, there aren’t countries with this problem but I have two particular moments in two festivals. In Egypt where I went for the screening and I felt in this country a very difficult situation for the women. We were awarded three prizes at the end of the festival (best movie, best script and best actress) but for me the contrast was very strong. Another time, in Morocco the editor went and she told me that during the screening some women decided to leave during the scene of sex moment between Mark and Bernard in the bathroom of swimming pool. These women were wearing burkas. Also at this festival the movie received an important prize but the contrast was very strong. I am happy for this contrast.
Carol Young from Jamestown, Pennsylvania asked: Do sworn virgins ever change their mind? What happens to them? Did you meet any actual sworn virgins?
I know the story of two sworn virgins who changed their mind and they left Albania and went to another country. But usually they want to stay on this path. Yes, of course, I met a lot of sworn virgins of different ages. In the movie there is one real sworn virgin, the character “Pal”. When I met them I didn’t want the camera with me. I wanted to be with us in a real way, without camera.
Thanks to all of you who asked questions, and I apologize to those that we didn’t get to. It’s amazing how fast thirty minutes goes. You know, time flies when you are having fun! Thanks again Laura Bispuri! America will love Sworn Virgin.