Three Windows and A Hanging

Screen International, August 20, 2014 | Go to article overview

Three Windows and A Hanging


Dir: Isa Qosja. Kosovo. 2014. 93mins

Three Windows And A Hanging (Tri Dritare Dhe Nje Varje), which world premiered in the Sarajevo Festival competition, could fit not only its Kosovo background and recent history but more places around the globe than one would like to think of. As told by veteran director Isa Qjosa, the rape of a country schoolteacher, which she reveals to the media and is instantly ostracised for it by her entire village, carefully avoids stepping on any toes, making any outright accusations, specifically identifying the rapists or flashing back to the horrors of the recent Balkan war for the rape itself.

Qjosa's main intention is to paint the portrait of a strictly male-oriented society, still hung-up on values such as family honour and reputation, prized far and above humanity and tolerance.

The rape itself is not the issue in this case, Qjosa's main concern is with society's response once it is brought up into the open and the additional punishment inflicted on the victim for refusing to keep it a secret.

Lushe (Irena Cahani), together with three other women in her village, were brutally raped after the police had arrested their husbands. Later, once the war is over, her husband still absent and his survival uncertain, she is interviewed by a journalist (Serb movie star Mirjana Karanovic in a guest performance) investigating the war crimes and tells her the story. A newspaper prints it and a few days later it reaches the teacher's remote village.

Scandalised, the men, headed by the village mayor Uka (Luan Jaha), decide to turn their back on the woman who offended them all by disclosing the shameful facts that many, but not all of them, ignored. They refuse to talk to her or send their children to her class and the mayor tells her openly she should take her boy, leave her home and move away from their village. …

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