In 1999, Kosovo was devastated by war. In the span of two years, 13,500 people were killed, and the emotional wounds and memories of war are still with its people today. Documentarian Antoneta Kastrati in her first narrative, tells the story of the trauma of war in her film, Zana.
Written by Antoneta Kastrati and Casey Cooper Johnson, Zana is about a Kosovar woman named Lume (Adriana Matoshi). It’s now several years after the war, and Lume is married to Ilir (Astrit Kabashi). Lume and Ilir are advancing in age and they have no children. The movie opens with Lume having a dream about taking her cow to the river for water only to instantly flash to wartime Kosovo and seeing her cow’s corpse rotting in the river. She awakens on the table being examined by an infertility specialist.
“…they pay 500 euros for a session with a television spiritualist, who tells Lume she is possessed by an alien known as Jinn.”
Lume is told that she is in perfect health, and there’s no reason why she couldn’t have children. The doctor suggests that she carries too much stress, and she should see a therapist. At home, Ilir’s mother is so disappointed she doesn’t have a grandchild, she brings a single woman over to the house as Ilir’s potential second wife. Throughout the film looks for help in the most usual places. Lume sees the town healer, who tells her this is not the right time (and she may be right). When that doesn’t work, they pay 500 euros for a session with a television spiritualist, who tells Lume she is possessed by an alien known as Jinn.
While everyone focuses on Lume’s infertility, what no one wants to address is the trauma from war that she is experiencing, and the cause of her recurring nightmares, which soon deepen into daydreams.