Friday, February 24, 2012

“The Forgiveness of Blood’’

Welcome to 21st-century Albania, where an ancient code of justice persists alongside the latest technological gadgets. In “The Forgiveness of Blood,’’ teenager Nik (Tristan Halilaj) finds himself a marked man after his father kills a neighbor in a land dispute. Under a custom dating back hundreds of years, the dead man’s family is entitled to kill a male from Nik’s family as retribution.

This means that Nik is confined to his home for his own protection while his younger sister, Rudina (Sindi Lacej), leaves school to take over the family business — delivering bread in a horse-drawn cart. (Talk about old-fashioned.)

Nik (Tristan Halilaj) lives in fear in this thriller.

This is the second feature by Joshua Marston, who studied film in New York and has helmed an episode of “Six Feet Under’’ and other TV shows. His debut movie was the highly praised “Maria Full of Grace,’’ about a 17-year-old Colombian girl who smuggles drugs into the US. “The Forgiveness of Blood,’’ a suspenseful work using nonprofessional actors and co-written with an Albanian filmmaker, shows Marston is no one-hit wonder.

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