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The Marriage

DirectorBlerta Zeqiri
WriterBlerta Zeqiri, Keka Kreshnik Berisha
EditorKeka Kreshnik Berisha
CameraSevdije Kastrati
CastAlban Ukaj, Adriana Matoshi, Genc Salihu, Edon Rizvanolli, Dukagjin Podrimaj, Besnik Krapi, Kushtrim Sheremeti, Ilire Vinca Celaj
ProducerKeka Kreshnik Berisha – bézé; Bunker Film+
ScreeningThu 8 November | 21:30 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag
Fri 9 November | 17:30 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag
Original TitleMARTESA
Length97 min

A touching and compassionate drama which unfolds the impossibility of gay love in a patriarchal society from a humane perspective, beyond the postulates of political correctness. Screenings will be followed by Q&A with the director Blerta Zeqiri.


Bekim and Anita are getting married in two weeks, so they are adding the final touches to the big day. Despite expecting news of Anita’s parents, declared missing since the 1999 Kosovar War, and with Bekim’s controlling family in turn, the couple seem to manage with preparations. But when Bekim’s secret gay ex-lover, Nol, returns from abroad unexpectedly, the situation complicates, especially by the fact that Nol is still in love with Bekim. Inevitably, the wedding banquet loads with tension. The director Blerta Zeqiri considers that same sex love in Kosovo is today’s Romeo and Juliette story, thus she wanted to make the audience leave the three main characters’ gender aside and feel for them in this complicated triangle, where no decision is without a victim. The result is a well-performed, absorbing and empathetic debut film, winner of the FIPRESCI and Special Jury prizes in Tallinn and Kosovar submission for the Oscars.

Director’s bio

Blerta Zeqiri is a Kosovar director/scriptwriter and a member of the European Film Academy. After winning the Sundance International Short Fiction award in 2012, she returns with her debut feature-length film – The Marriage. Before her Sundance accolade Blerta’s shorts have appeared in many world-renowned festivals; among them Oberhausen, Telluride, Palm Springs, the Hamptons, where she won numerous prizes.

Director’s statement

After the end of the war, when I gained basic liberties that I didn’t have throughout my childhood, I started to become aware and think more about marginalized groups in our society, who are denied the basic rights each human being should be entitled to. One of these groups is the LGBT community, who without a question are the most marginalized of all. LGBT community members, although protected by the Kosovo laws, are continuously threatened, humiliated and physically attacked, to which the state turns a blind eye. Hiding their identity remains the only way to survive in this surrounding, forcing a large number of LGBT people to marry eventually a partner of an opposite sex, who inadvertently turns into collateral damage. In our film, this partner is a woman, already marginalized and without a voice in our patriarchal society. For me it is unacceptable and at the same time incomprehensible to see two people who love each other so much unable to be together. This is why I think same sex love in Kosovo is today’s Romeo and Juliette story.