Sworn Virgin

Years after declaring her eternal virginity and opting to live life as a man in the mountains of Albania, Hana looks to return to living as a woman as she settles into a new existence in modern-day Milan.


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  • ★★★★ review by Laura Palmer on Letterboxd

    "...no está bien hablar antes que un hombre lo haga [...], no está bien elegir un esposo, no está bien hacer el trabajo de un hombre..."

    Vergine giurata retrata una historia que bien podría ser una entre decenas (o cientas?): los patriarcas albanos han encontrado un mecanismo para engañar y someter a las mujeres aun más, algo utilizado a fin de reproducir un sistema nefasto por más de dos siglos enteros.

    Los hombres les permiten a sus mujeres gozar de los mismos derechos que ellos, sólo si prometen castidad eterna y el atravesar sus vidas como hombres.

    Hana vivió su adolescencia y solitaria adultez en las frías montañas de Albania como Mark, hasta que decide romper aquel juramento y viaja a Milán dónde vive su hermana, a (re)descubrirse a sí misma.

    Sutil y tosca a la vez, Alba Rohrwacher se deshace al caminar, encorbada, siempre manteniendo una delicadez digna de una bailarina clásica. Quizá le agregue media (o una) estrella a esta película sólo por su presencia.

    A grandes rasgos, podríamos decir que a esta película le hacen falta unos golpes de horno, aunque amerite ser vista al calor de crecientes movimientos de lucha por la liberación de las mujeres.

  • ★★★½ review by Steven Cohen on Letterboxd

    Sworn Virgin presents as a transgender narrative, following Mark (Alba Rohrwacher) - assigned as female at birth - as Mark leaves hermetic life and enters modern Milan society. Mark's struggle to find a true identity is the drive of the film, and the picture ends up being more of a look at feminism in Albanian than anything else. Rohrwacher's performance is engrossing, and filmmaker Laura Bispuri brings Mark's search for a self to life in beautiful ways. Sworn Virgin's story could possibly be warped to serve those who seek to undermine transgender rights, but taken at its own merits, the film is a very effective depiction of the extremes to which one goes for freedom.

  • ★★★½ review by Julius Kassendorf on Letterboxd

    More feminist doctrine than actual film, Sworn Virgin is a great story probably better served on paper.

    Lila and Hana are estranged sisters from a mountain society that views women as utilities to bake and have babies, and men are the hunters, gatherers, and heads of household.

    Both Hana and Lila escape in different ways. Hana gives up her femininity and becomes a man named Mark, sworn to virginity, to achieve respect. Lila takes a husband of her choosing and escapes into the city. Neither are completely happy with their results.

    Sworn Virgin tells the story among two timelines: Hana as Mark reconnecting with Lila and her family in the present day city, and the story of their growing up and Hana's decision.

    On paper, it's a great feminist story about gender roles, expectations and what happens when you break tradition. But, on screen, gaps in meaning are left unstated, especially those of Lila and her unhappiness. This is Hana's movie, but it should have been both as they both broke their intended molds.

  • ★★★½ review by momalley on Letterboxd

    It's a movie about a Balkan sworn virgin (look it up--I had to), and it's absolutely obsessed with bodies. The camera lingers over the human form in a way that even more obviously objectifying films don't, and this movie, being from the POV of someone who has existed outside the gender continuum of her country's society, presents those bodies with the curiosity and strangeness of someone from the outside looking in. The obvious pitfall here is that this curiosity could have come across as either leering or clinical, but neither is the case. It's a warmly human movie, and even if all the interpersonal relationships don't feel quite as fleshed out as they should, plenty of emotional weight alone comes from the geometry of muscles and bones.

  • ★★★½ review by Dimitris Dx on Letterboxd

    Τρομερό θέμα, λιτή προσέγγιση, φανταστικές λεπτομέρειες, στις οποίες κρύβεται τελικά όλη η ουσία. Τις αγαπώ αυτές τις μικρές ιστορίες από το πουθενά, που εξισώνουν την φύση με τον εσωτερικό κόσμο των ανθρώπων. Λίγο αδύναμο στο τέλος αλλά δεν έχει και τόση σημασία <3

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