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The Forgiveness of Blood Reviews

Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
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The film shows us trenchantly that law often lags behind deep-grained custom.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

June 19, 2013
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
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[A] low-key tale of life in rural Albania.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

August 7, 2012
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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A memorable portrait of a society and the demands it makes on those caught up in it.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

March 30, 2012
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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We don't see any blood, or much forgiveness either, but we do witness something far more resonant - a young generation caught between the rock of tradition and the hard place of modernity.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

March 30, 2012
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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A heartbreaking Albanian film that counts the toll a family feud takes on all involved.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star

March 30, 2012
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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The leads -- both non-actors -- hit sharp, natural notes.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

March 23, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Tradition can be dangerous as well as dumb. "The Forgiveness of Blood" is about a modern kid in an old-world society. It's a terrible fit.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

March 23, 2012
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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It's a thriller that feels like a documentary.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 9, 2012
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
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Marston artfully uses handheld cameras and natural light and has a nice eye for compositions.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

March 8, 2012
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A satisfying, psychologically complex tale of a teenager caught in a blood feud in the craggy countryside of Albania.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 8, 2012
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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"The Forgiveness of Blood'' works as a subtle but insistent metaphor for a modern generation trapped by the shibboleths of their elders.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

March 8, 2012
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Chicago Reader
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It's intelligent, well-intentioned, and largely inert.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 8, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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What seems missing is a good notion of how this Albanian society functions on a daily basis. Surely a family cannot live under house arrest forever?

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 8, 2012
Jeannette Catsoulis
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An immersive look at the power of archaic traditions to sabotage a transitioning culture.

Full Review Source: NPR

February 24, 2012
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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The film's director, Joshua Marston, is American, but, as in his previous film, Maria Full of Grace, about a Colombian girl who accepts a job as a drug smuggler, he does a commendable job of immersing himself in a foreign culture.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B+

February 24, 2012
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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A suspenseful work using nonprofessional actors and co-written with an Albanian filmmaker...

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

February 24, 2012
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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A work of fiction, based on present-day fact, that's quietly affecting and surprisingly dramatic, so long as you're willing to watch it unfold at its own deliberate pace.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

February 23, 2012
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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The Albanian tradition of blood feuds partly inspired Mr. Marston to make this story, yet what gives it shape are the more familiar conventions of the classic art film, including narrative ambiguity, ellipses and silence.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

February 23, 2012
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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More a story of whispers when cries are what's called for with lives, livelihoods and family honor on the line.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 23, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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There is so much to admire in Joshua Marston's "The Forgiveness of Blood" that it's easy to overlook the miracle at its center: Marston's artistic idealism.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/5

February 23, 2012
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Joshua Marston once again distinguishes himself as a filmmaker serious about understanding lives a world away from his own.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

February 22, 2012
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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The result is a film of great humanity that reveals Albania as a primitive region struggling to bridge the gap between medieval European customs and the tide of progress.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 3/4

February 21, 2012
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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The Forgiveness of Blood never sheds its own sense of strandedness-house arrest, by and large, being a terrible premise for a movie.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

February 21, 2012
Ernest Hardy
Village Voice
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Marston demonstrated his ability to sustain almost unbearable dramatic tension in his debut feature film, Maria Full of Grace. His sophomore effort, The Forgiveness of Blood, illustrates an impressive deepening of that skill.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

February 21, 2012
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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[A] compelling film touching on the perils of being young-that's it, merely young-in a culture without justice.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

February 13, 2012
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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It's a strong premise, and Marston has clearly worked hard to get the traditions of Old World Albanian culture right.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B-

September 14, 2011
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