Laura Bisapuri's Sworn Virgin is a powerful tale of oppression, the importance of individuality, personal identity, and a somber reminder of the secondary status of woman in many reaches of the world. The film is centered around Hana, a character who years ago declared her eternal virginity, opting to live as a man in the remote mountains of Albania. Leaving the secluded mountains, Hana, who now goes by Mark, arrives in modern-day Milan where her sister currently lives a more progressive lifestyle. His intentions are never stated, but it's clear that Mark/Hana has fled from this lifestyle, and when introduced to a more progressive society, she slowly begins to discover oneself, settling into his new existence in Milan where he is free to be exactly who she wants to be. Sworn Virgin is a film of very little dialogue, where the filmmakers rely heavily of the strong central performance and quietly contemplative atmosphere to tell this story of oppression. Told through a narrative that interweaves between Hana's present in Milan and her past in the secluded mountains, Sworn Virgin paints a convincing portrait of oppresion, where misogyny reigns and woman are viewed primarily as caregivers, second class citizens to their male counterparts. Through this interweaving narrative, Sworn Virgin captures how Hana's past dictated her present, slowly revealing how her perceived debt to her father and desire to appease him led to her current state of confusion and subtle regret of being something she never individually desired to be. The opening few minutes of the film are a fantastic example of Sworn Virgin's artistic, meditative storytelling. Combining handheld photography with wide angle cinematography, Sworn Virgin's visuals evoke a sense of solitude and utter isolation im the character of Hana as she leaves the small mountain town, not a word is spoken, but Hana's inner turmoil and internal solitude are felt thanks to the visual storytelling. Laura Bisapuri's Sworm Virgin is a film not only about feminism but a larger study of the overall negative impact which oppressive society can have on individualism, with the character of Hana eventually becoming more comfortable in her own skin thanks to his sister and young niece teaching her that she can't let her personal identity be dictated by the rigidity of society
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