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Looking for Venera Në kërkim të Venerës

Norika Sefa / Kosovo, North Macedonia / 2021 / 111 min / Albanian

A coming-of-age story, Looking for Venerafollows the troubled life of a taciturn girl living in the Kosovar countryside, where she is expected to protect the family’s good reputation. The traditional, hierarchic town feels even more oppressive when the free-thinking girl starts to break down patriarchal restraints.

Calm, reticent Venera lives in a small village in Kosovo. At home, three generations are constantly under one another’s feet in their cramped house, so she has hardly any privacy. Outside too, it’s not much better: the village is small and there’s always a brother, nephew or neighbour keeping a beady eye on her. Her spirits lift when she makes friends with rebellious Dorina. The two girls go out having fun together, exploring sexuality and the delights of teenage life. One thing they know for sure: they don’t want to end up like their mothers.

"I wanted to tell a story based in Kosovo, but that wouldn't reproduce the stereotypes for which the country is known abroad. So basically, I didn't want to show some traditional costumes nor evoke an exotic feeling. I didn’t want the film to exploit the poverty of Balkan countries. However, tradition itself is the very core of the story and so is family. I, myself, grew up in a big family and so this is a topic dear to me. I was curious about what would appear from the development of the characters and how the actors’ interpretation might influence the film." (Norika Sefa)

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