By Antoneta KASTRATI

ALIEF - as SALES / DISTR Theatrical, TV, DVD-video, VOD, Airline, World / PROD

First film - Completed 2019

Haunted by her long suppressed past and pressured by family to seek treatment from mystical healers for her infertility, a Kosovar woman struggles to reconcile the expectations of motherhood with a legacy of wartime brutality.

& Awards

Toronto - TIFF 2019
Toronto - TIFF 2019
Palm Springs 2020
Award Buzz - Best International Feature Film
Goteborg IFF 2020
Trieste IFF 2020
Crossing Europe 2020
San Francisco 2020
Glasgow IFF 2020
    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • First film, Drama, Horror
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.6 - 1 M$
    • Duration
    • 97 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Antoneta KASTRATI
    • Writer(s)
    • Antoneta KASTRATI
    • Producer(s)
    • Casey COOPER JOHNSON (Crossing Films), Sevdje KASTRATI (Crossing Films), Besnik KAPRI (On Film), Brett WALKER (Alief), Miguel GOVEA (ALIEF)
    • Synopsis
    • LUME is an Albanian woman who lives with her husband, ILIR, and her mother-in-law, REMZIJE, in a Kosovar village. She has lost her only child a decade earlier in the war and is now haunted by night terrors and unable to get pregnant. Desperate for a child, the family abandons modern medicine and seeks a traditional healer who can cure her.

      ​Lume’s visit to a local witch doctor only worsens her situation, as a prescribed animal sacrifice deepens old traumas. The family then goes into debt to send Lume to Kosovo’s most famous healer. He performs an elaborate ritual and cautions them that the suspicious witch doctor may have cursed Lume with black magic.

      Soon Lume is pregnant, hopeful that she will again be a mother. But her night terrors return. When her mother-in-law catches her sleep walking to the witch doctor’s home, the family attacks the woman and her children. Lume undergoes a violent exorcism and imprisonment to protect the fetus from evil.

      When the family is finally assured that Lume has been healed, she again sneaks out of the house into the cold winter night and reveals the dark secret she has been hiding.