Hana Doda, still a girl, escapes from her destiny of being a wife and a servant, a future imposed on women in remote village life in Albania. With the help of her uncle’s guidance, Hana appeals to the old Kanun traditional law and takes an oath of eternal virginity for the chance to bear a rifle and live free as men. For the villagers, Hana becomes Mark, a “sworn virgin”. But something restless stirs under these men’s clothes. Years later, the immense Albanian mountains and her choice now seem like a prison. Mark decides to set out on a journey, 
too long put off. He travels to Italy, crossing borders into many different worlds: Albania and Italy, past and present, masculine and feminine.

Slowly Mark begins to experience the vertigo of discovering his body, touching other bodies. She finds caring, loving people life had taken away, and opens up to an unexpected chance of love, which the Kanun had denied her. Mark rediscovers Hana, finally piecing back together the two souls that for years have lived inside her body. She is reborn as a new, free and complete person.


Produced by

Vivo film and Colorado Film with Rai Cinema, Bord Cadre films, Match Factory Productions, Era Film

in co-production with RSI Swiss Radiotelevision, in collaboration with Istituto Luce Cinecittà, Pretty Pictures, with the support of Eurimages, Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo – Direzione generale per il cinema, BLS Business Location Südtirol – Alto Adige, Film-und Medienstiftung NRW, KCC Kosovo Cinematography Center, Regione Lazio – Fondo Regionale per il Cinema e l’Audiovisivo, in association with Banca del Fucino and Aleteia Communication, developed with the support of the Media Program of the European Union.


Hana/Mark: Alba Rohrwacher

Lila: Flonja Kodheli

Bernhard: Lars Eidinger

Stjefen: Luan Jaha

Gjergj: Bruno Shllaku

Katrina: Ilire Celaj

Little Hana and little Lila: Drenica and Dajana Selimaj

Jonida: Emily Ferratello


Produced by: Marta Donzelli, Gregorio Paonessa, Maurizio Totti, Alessandro Usai, Dan Wechsler
, Michael Weber, Viola Fügen, Sabina Kodra and Robert Budina

Story and screenplay: Francesca Manieri and Laura Bispuri

Cinematography: Vladan Radovic

Editing: Carlotta Cristiani, Jacopo Quadri

Original soundtrack: Nando di Cosimo

Set design: Ilaria Sadun

Costumes: Grazia Colombini

Technical data

Year: 2015

Running time: 90 min

Country: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Albania in collaboration with Kosovo

Language: Albanian, Italian

Festivals and awards

Berlin International Film Festival – Official competition

Tribeca Film Festival – Nora Ephron award

Hong Kong International Film Festival – Firebird award

San Francisco International Film Festival – Golden Gate New Directors award

Krakow Film Festival – FIPRESCI award

Globo d’Oro 2015 “Best First Feature” award

Nominated to the David di Donatello and Nasti d’Argento awards as “Best First Feature”

International Sales

The Match Factory

Italian Distribution

Istituto Luce Cinecittà