Joshua Marston’s (Maria Full of Grace) film, follows Nik, an energetic 17-year-old in his last year of high school in Northern Albania. Embarking on his first romance with a girl in his class, he plans to open his own internet cafe after graduation. His sister, Rudina, is a bright, mature fifteen-year-old who aspires to go to college. When a local land dispute results in their father Mark being accused of murder, the family is drawn into a deadly blood feud. The rules of the Kanun, a centuries-old Albanian code of law, force Nik, his 7 year old brother and the other male members of his family into virtual house arrest. With Mark hiding in the mountains and Nik unable to leave the house, the family must rely on Rudina, who has to leave school and take over Mark’s business in order to provide for them. While Rudina flourishes in her newfound responsibility, Nik’s frustration and anger at his isolation drive him to try to end the feud, even though it may cost him his life.
The Forgiveness of Blood, written by Marston and Andamion Murataj, was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin International Film Festival.