New film addresses wartime violence suffered by Kosovo women

The violence suffered by Kosovo women during the 1989-9 war and after has been largely unaddressed, but director Lendita Zeqiraj hopes to help give these women a voice in her new film "Aga".

Editorial Team
Jessica Sirotin NewsMavens, Europe
New film addresses wartime violence suffered by Kosovo women - NewsMavens
Lendita Zeqiraj, YouTube

Why this story matters:

Lendita Zeqiraj, 46, an award-winning Kosovo director, has made several short films and documentaries, now she is addressing the topic of  wartime sexual assault and domestic violence among women in Kosovo. 

Until recently, women were not encouraged to talk about these issues. Yet, according to Zeqiraj, those who were traumatized from the war still suffer.

“The stigma is one of the things that kills them, mostly. In Kosovo there are many victims of sexual violence who suffer their own dramas in silence,” 

Her most recent film, “Aga”, tells the story of a Kosovo Albanian boy, who lives with five women -- all victims of sexual and domestic violence. The film explores the history of the women in the house and Zeqiraj hopes that by depicting their stories on screen, she can give a human face to those who still suffer trauma resulting from the violence they experienced during the 1998-9 war.

Details from the story:

  • Zeqiraj wanted to expose the prejudice that adds to the suffering of these women.
  • “As a society, we have not dealt too much with this kind of thing. Sexual violence has not been dealt with so much, even in art.” she says.
  • The subject of domestic and sexual violence has become more topical in Kosovo recently.
  • Kosovar women who were victims of rape and violence during the 1998-1999 war with Serbia are only starting to receive compensation for their suffering.
  • Recently, Vasfije Krasniqi Goodman was the first Kosovo woman to publicly share her story of wartime rape.
  • Kosovo journalist Laura Kryeziu also recently made the headlines as she revealed her experience of domestic violence

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