The Hill Where Lionesses Roar

Director Luàna Bajrami / 2021 / France,Kosovo

The bold directorial debut of Portrait of a Lady on Fire actor Luàna Bajrami is a luminously kinetic depiction of teenage ennui and troublemaking.

Best friends Jeta, Li and Qe live in a remote Kosovan village from which they see no way out. Bored and restless, the young women spend their days dreaming big but not living large – until, in a moment of aimless distraction, they rebrand themselves as a gang and fall into a life of crime. Exhilarated by the newfound sense of independence offered by their illegal pursuits, the trio soon discover that their ill-gotten gains come with some dangerous caveats.

Bajrami will be familiar to MIFF audiences as the servant girl Sophie in Céline Sciamma’s acclaimed 2019 period romance, but, in making the transition behind the camera, the 20-year-old proves herself as an even more extraordinary talent – gaining the honour of being the youngest female filmmaker selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. With its lush cinematography, charismatic young cast (including a cameo from the director herself) and bravura storyline suffused with passion and vitality, The Hill Where the Lionesses Roar has earned comparisons to Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s feminist masterpiece Mustang (MIFF 2015) and is set to attract just as many admirers.

“The first-time filmmaker’s eye for details is profound, from her inspired casting of mostly first- and second-time actors to the way the world they exist within moves around them.” – IndieWire

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