Magazine article Variety

Laura Bispuri

Magazine article Variety

Laura Bispuri

Article excerpt

EDGY DEBUT

Laura Bispuri, 38, was the only Italian director to field a film in the 2015 Berlin competition - her debut "Sworn Virgin" centers around the archaic Albanian custom in which a woman swears to remain a virgin and impersonate a man so she can obtain a man's rights. The movie is an adaptation of a novel by Elvira Dones.

PERFECT FIT

Bispuri wrote the screenplay for star Alba Rohrwacher, who studied a northern dialect of Albanian for the film. "I wrote the screenplay thinking of her, and I never wavered from that choice. We worked in an almost symbiotic rapport," Bispuri says, "constantly seeking out new things about her character, Mark, toward whom we both got very affectionate."

ISSUE OF FREEDOM

The writer-director's previous works were short films thematically similar to her feature, including her 2010 debut, "Passing Time," which won Italy's David di Donatello award. "My shorts revolved around female characters and themes of female freedom and identity, which are dear to me," Bispuri, says, adding that she feels the experiences of the central character in "Sworn Virgin" are universal. …

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