Title of the Project
Original BARRË E RËNDË
English HEAVY BURDEN
Country of origin of the project
A family that raised their Boy Lule as a girl, accepts the decision of The Elders, the Kanoon connoisseurs the decision that they came up with to satisfy both families and to end the bloodshed: to give their Son LULE to be the wife of the other family's son YLL.
The screenplay opens in a documentary style, with multiple people talking in front of the camera about their experiences with the Kanun – blood revenge, still practiced in some Albanian villages. It’s a German reporter, who is visiting a remote Albanian village, mainly to report on gender dynamics among the villagers especially on the Burrnesha – women, who take up men’s roles in society. He encounters the Kanun and is fascinated by it, so he decides to report on it instead.
During his investigation in the village, he comes across two warring families, who attempt to make peace by arranging a marriage between their children, Lule and Ylli. Later he finds out that Lule is actually a man, who has been raised as a woman, and that this is actually a plot by the family to take revenge for their dead son, by killing the groom, Ylli, on the wedding day.
The reporter has another idea; he suggests to take Luli (which is his actual name), with him to Europe, so that he may escape this endless revenge cycle. He plans to do it by arranging a fake marriage between him and Luli. The family reluctantly agrees to this, and they send Luli off to Europe with the reporter. The same-sex “marriage” between the two causes some stir in the local area and is reported in a newspaper with the couples’ photo on it. The reporter hides this from Luli, however.
Having arrived in Berlin, they settle up in the apartment of the reporter, which is a huge open space with a photo-shooting area nearby, and pictures of mostly male models hanging on the walls and two beds in different corners of the room. They both go to sleep in different beds.
The next morning Lumi wakes up to loud noises; the reporter is celebrating with his friends, some of them are transgender women. After a while the friends leave the apartment, congratulating both the reporter and Luli. Luli asks what this is all about, and the reporter says that he is celebrating their marriage in order to make it more convincing. Later they get out, so Luli can know the city. Some funny and awkward moments follow, where the reporter tries to pull off their relationship by holding hands and buying flamboyant clothes for Luli, while Luli vehemently resists. Later the reporter suggests that they visit a traditional Albanian parlor, so that Luli feels more comfortable. Funny shenanigans ensue there too.
At night the reporter brings Luli to a gay bar owned by him. There he meets a fellow Albanian, with whom he strikes a conversation, while the reporter gets jealous. The Albanian asks Luli what he is doing here, and Luli explains his situation.
The reporter takes Luli back to the apartment, and the Albanian follows them. Inside Luli and the reporter get in a misunderstanding and the reporter makes a move on Luli. It turns out that the reporter is gay and is actually attracted to Luli. Luli, disgusted, pushes him away and says that he wants to go back, and then the reporter shows him the newspaper saying that their wedding is local news and he can’t go back. Luli beats the reporter up and gets out. Outside the Albanian is waiting for him.
Luli and the Albanian go to a café together, where they discuss his situation. The Albanian suggests that Luli stay and live here, because it is too dangerous to go back. Luli refuses and says that it is his duty to go back. The Albanian gives in and arranges a divorce with the reporter, by calling in a favor form a friend who is a lawyer.
Luli goes back to Albania; he gets a makeover, so that he feels manlier and gets back to his village. His family is surprised, but he explains that he has come to take revenge, the blood mus continue. He dresses as a bride and prepares for the wedding. The day of the wedding has come, and everyone is celebrating, the groom and the bride go inside the bedroom to consummate the marriage. There he reveals that he is actually a woman, a previous love interest of Luli actually. Luli is shocked. Shots are heard, and women weep.