Global Lens 2012: Amnesty (Amnistia), 2011, 83 min.
A newly enacted law allowing prisoners conjugal visits (part of Albania’s bid for EU membership) sparks an unlikely friendship between two lonely people, a man and a woman, each visiting the same prison for meetings with their incarcerated spouses. Elsa’s contact with her husband, imprisoned for gambling debts, is silent and dutiful. Back home she is consumed with the need to find a job, raising her two sons, and negotiating the presence of her live-in father-in-law. A newfound friendship with another female visitor leads her to Shpetim, a gentle and quiet man who visits the prison to see his wife in equally passionless encounters. They slowly become dependent on one another for the kind of sympathy and companionship otherwise missing in their lives, only to see this fragile bond threatened by an amnesty that sets their spouses free. A closely observed, quietly sensual and contemplative drama, this assured first feature takes a wonderfully individual approach to a period of subtle but profound social transformation.
Albanian, with subtitles in English. Refreshments available for purchase before screening.
The Global Lens film series is sponsored by the Global Film Initiative. For more information, visit www.globalfilm.org.
Additional support provided by the San Antonio Film Commission.