Pashke and Sofia

Deutschland / Schweiz 2003, 28 min, OF mit UT deutsch oder englisch , 29.90 €   F0200

Pashke and Sofia is a rare documentary film about Albanian culture in which some women are allowed to change their gender by taking the oath of a “sworn virgin”. Pashke (62) lives as a sworn virgin since s/he was thirty. That means s/he lives the social role of a man. Unlike the sworn virgins of Hercegovina and Monte Negro, where the role of a man is enforced upon one of the daughters in families without male children, Pashke has decided to live as a man herself. S/he did it partly because it was the only way to keep hir freedom and property and partly because s/he desired to express and live hir own masculinity. Sofia is a married mother of six children and lives the traditionally prescribed role of a woman. Her ideas and desires nevertheless disturb the patriarchal order as she criticizes the restrictions that rule the lives of women in Albania. Both Pashke and Sofia live in Northern Albania in mountain villages called Theth and Shkodra.

Documentary film Pashke and Sofia has been screened at many festivals and Karin Michalski has received the BBC award for most promising newcomer in international documentary at the Bird’s Eye View Women’s Film Festival in London in 2005. Karin Michalski occasionally gives lectures on film representations of gender variety. She has also made a lyric documentary entitled Monika M. in 2003.


Produktion: Karin Michalski, Ursula Habersaat

Realisation: Karin Michalski


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