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by Rose Finlay

Kaltrina Krasniqi, Kosovo | Albania | North Macedonia 2021

Vera’s life is completely upturned the day that she returns home to find that her husband has killed himself. Only the day before, she had been speaking to him about her plans for retirement.Not only does she have to deal with the grief of losing her partner and finding out that he had many secrets she was not aware of, but she also finds herself face-to-face with the corrupt, patriarchal society of Kosovo. Soon there are several factions vying for her husband’s property and despite her strength of character, Vera must find a way to protect herself and her daughter’s interests while also confronting men who now see her as someone to take advantage of simply due to her sex.

VERA DREAMS OF THE SEA took home the top prize of the 2022 goEast, the Golden Lily for Best Film. It took director Kaltrina Krasniqi seven years to finance and produce the film, and during that time she deeply researched the subject of inheritance in Kosovo, largely by interviewing women of Vera’s generation. What she found was that over the past thirty years, not much has changed socially concerning women’s rights in regard to inheritance. What makes VERA DREAMS OF THE SEA so fascinating is that it not only looks at a slice of reality in Kosovo that isn’t often looked at, but it is also a film that focuses on different generations of women, their perspectives and their struggles both against society and between each other. It is truly a women’s film, and Vera is a strong character who fights tenaciously to protect herself and her daughter’s interests, even though the result is sometimes frustrating to bear.