Looking for Venera

Norika Sefa

IndieLisboa 2021 •

Kosovo, North Macedonia, Fiction, 2021, 111′

With three generations living under the same roof, and in the claustrophobia of a small village in Kosovo, Venera is a teenager with little privacy or space to live her life and explore her emotions. The discreet camera work brings intimacy to a story where growing up means making choices.

Kosovo, early 2000’s. The fast-growing bodies of the two friends, Venera and Dorina, don’t fit into the frame, as their desires don’t conform to the strict traditions that define their families’ lives. In her feature debut Looking for Venera, Norika Sefa works with non-professional actors pushing them against one another inside the crowded rooms, capturing their vivid reactions. The messy houses hosting up to three generations at once, and the greys and browns of nature stripped bare by the change of the season, serve as ornaments to the intense close-up on Venera’s face. It is on this face that all the silenced emotions are projected, both Venera’s and of those who shape her days. The moments of intimacy reflected in her eyes share some of the secrets buried in the darkness of the tunnel. (Anastasia Lukovnikova)