TIFF review: Zana

Beautiful and bleak feature explores after effects of the Kosovo war


ZANA DISC D: Antoneta Kastrati. Kosovo/Albania. 97 min. Sep 7, 9:30 pm, TIFF 4 Sep 9, 10 pm, TIFF 4 Sep 11, 9:30 pm, TIFF 4. Rating: NNN


Zana is the beautiful and bleak feature debut of Kastrati, centring on loss and the after effects of the Kosovo war.

The film follows Lume, a woman whose dreams are tormented by death and her waking days are a barrage of pressure to create life in her insular Kosovar village.

Adriana Matoshi conveys Lume’s unhappiness, grief and eventual desperation simmering just underneath her detached exterior. The brutality of war – seen in dreams and at a commemoration attended by Lume, her husband Ilir (Astrit Kabashi) and her ever-present mother-in-law Remzije (Fatmire Sahiti) – intermingles with the subject of infertility and women’s autonomy in an intimate and effective way.

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