The Forgiveness of Blood

When an archaic code of justice confines 17-year-old Nik and the male members of his family to their home, his younger sister becomes the breadwinner. But the housebound Nik is so miserable that he's willing to risk his life to end the confinement.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.1
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 85%
Critics' score: 85   Audience score: 75   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

We don't see any blood, or much forgiveness either, but we do witness something far more resonant - a young generation caught between the rock of tradition and the hard place of modernity. full review

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

A heartbreaking Albanian film that counts the toll a family feud takes on all involved. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

The leads -- both non-actors -- hit sharp, natural notes. full review

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Tradition can be dangerous as well as dumb. "The Forgiveness of Blood" is about a modern kid in an old-world society. It's a terrible fit. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

It's a thriller that feels like a documentary. full review

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

Marston artfully uses handheld cameras and natural light and has a nice eye for compositions. full review

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

A satisfying, psychologically complex tale of a teenager caught in a blood feud in the craggy countryside of Albania. full review

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

"The Forgiveness of Blood'' works as a subtle but insistent metaphor for a modern generation trapped by the shibboleths of their elders. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

It's intelligent, well-intentioned, and largely inert. full review

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Chicago Reader

What seems missing is a good notion of how this Albanian society functions on a daily basis. Surely a family cannot live under house arrest forever? full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

An immersive look at the power of archaic traditions to sabotage a transitioning culture. full review

The film's director, Joshua Marston, is American, but, as in his previous film, Maria Full of Grace, about a Colombian girl who accepts a job as a drug smuggler, he does a commendable job of immersing himself in a foreign culture. full review

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

A suspenseful work using nonprofessional actors and co-written with an Albanian filmmaker... full review

V.A. Musetto, New York Post

A work of fiction, based on present-day fact, that's quietly affecting and surprisingly dramatic, so long as you're willing to watch it unfold at its own deliberate pace. full review

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

The Albanian tradition of blood feuds partly inspired Mr. Marston to make this story, yet what gives it shape are the more familiar conventions of the classic art film, including narrative ambiguity, ellipses and silence. full review

Manohla Dargis, New York Times

More a story of whispers when cries are what's called for with lives, livelihoods and family honor on the line. full review

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

There is so much to admire in Joshua Marston's "The Forgiveness of Blood" that it's easy to overlook the miracle at its center: Marston's artistic idealism. full review

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

Joshua Marston once again distinguishes himself as a filmmaker serious about understanding lives a world away from his own. full review

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

The result is a film of great humanity that reveals Albania as a primitive region struggling to bridge the gap between medieval European customs and the tide of progress. full review

Rex Reed, New York Observer

Marston demonstrated his ability to sustain almost unbearable dramatic tension in his debut feature film, Maria Full of Grace. His sophomore effort, The Forgiveness of Blood, illustrates an impressive deepening of that skill. full review

Ernest Hardy, Village Voice
Similars Available on Instant
  • Release Year: 2011
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Runtime: 109 min
  • Available From: Oct 13, 2012
  • Queued by: 117 people
Directed By
Joshua Marston
Tristan Halilaj, Sindi Lacej, Refet Abazi, Ilire Vinca Celaj

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