CPH PIX Film Review: ‘Sworn Virgin’

It’s almost worth the abstinence

Beautifully photographed, Laura Bispuri’s mesmerising film concerns an Albanian girl who according to local tradition chooses to take an oath to never love, so that she may live as a man.

A gently unfolding bilinear narrative allows us to simultaneously follow the young Hana as she becomes Mark – and the slightly older Mark who seems likely to revert back to being Hana.

Universal in its themes and intimate in its focus, ‘Sworn Virgin’ is a quietly uncompromised glimpse into a culture so patriarchal it will certainly seem alien to most westerners.

Whether the backdrop is an epic Albanian landscape or a modern Italian city, rising star Alba Rohrwacher commands our attentions with her perfectly pitched-performance.

Sworn Virgin