Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Surviving a war and male domination


Some 3,000 men went missing during a 1999 massacre during the war in Kosovo. A missing husband ignites the story writer/director Blerta Basholli tells in Hive, a movie based on a true story. Left to her own devices, Fahrije Hoti (Yllka Gashi) must overcome her grief and find a way to support her family. The task is made considerably more difficult by a patriarchal society in which women aren't supposed to act independently. A determined Fahriji first learns to drive and then begins a collective business in which she and other women sell Ajvar, a condiment made from peppers. She receives help from another woman (Kumrije Hoxha) and eventually convinces her teenage daughter (Kaona Sylejmani) not to be dissuaded by social pressures. The local men cause trouble but Fahrije persists in the face of resistance, including from a disabled father-in-law (Cun Lajci) who needs a high level of care. A simple story told without flourish, Hive reminds us that necessity not only can breed invention but also the courage required to keep from going under.

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