Sworn Virgin

Sworn Virgin is a journey inside femininity told in its thousand fold and contradictory forms.

Hana Doda, still a girl, escapes from her destiny of being wife and servant which is imposed on the women in the inhospitable mountains in Albania. She appeals to the old law of the Kanun and swears her eternal virginity thus becoming a “sworn virgin.” She turns into a man, takes up a rifle and becomes Mark, Mark Doda. It is in exchange for this sacrifice that Hana is allowed to be considered at the same level as other men. Her battle does not only mean that she must rebel against what destiny has been writing on her body for centuries, but she must also reject, in name of this rebellion, every form of love. A refusal that becomes her prison.

After more than ten years spent in solitude in the mountains as a man, she becomes brutish and she transforms to survive the hardship, the cold and misery, until something returns to awaken her again… Hana decides to change life and painstakingly regain her body. She knows that leaving the mountains is the price she will have to pay to be able to go back to living. A journey drags her away from her arid land, a journey that will mean she will have to revisit her past and exhume memories and feelings that she was made to bury in oblivion. Following a path that is a continuous and subtle crossing of two different and distant worlds, of the past and the future. In a modern Milan metropolis, she struggles to leave her man’s clothes and learns to be woman. She experiences the heady sensation of physical contact with others, and she finds dear and beloved people that life had taken from her and there opens an unexpected and forbidden possibility of love. Mark not only returns to being Hana, but she is also able to piece the two souls back together that for years have lived inside her body and she is reborn as a new, free and complete .




Laura Bispuri

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.


Alba Rohrwacher
Lars Eidinger
Flonja Kodheli


Writing Credits Francesca Manieri
Laura Bispuri
Cinematography by Vladan Radovic
Costume Design by Grazia Colombini
Makeup Department Massimo De Pellegrino (key hair stylist)
Set designer Ilaria Sadun


Year: 2015
Running Time 90m
Country: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Albania in collaboration with Kosovo
Language: Albanian, Italian

Festivals & awards

  • February 2015 Berlin International Film Festival
  • First Youth Film Festival,Grand Jury Prize – Feature Film
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival, Golden Firebird Award
  • Netia Off Camera International Festival of Independent Cinema,FIPRESCI Jury Award
  • Ortigia Film Festival,Best Feature Film
  • San Francisco International Film Festival,Golden Gate Award
  • Tribeca Film Festival, Nora Ephron Prize

    The Match Factory