BALLAD OF THE KNIFE
On the night of 11th April 1988, in a village in the historical county of Oaș in North-Western Romania, three fellows caught a man and dragged him onto a cart. One of them drove the horse, the second was playing his fiddle, and the third was stabbing the prisoner repeatedly while the vehicle drove in circles round and round the village. If anyone thought of intervening, they got a death threat. By morning the victim had been stabbed to death as an act of revenge for all the humiliation he had caused to the three men over the years. In the Oaș region, this type of vendetta has been the main way to make justice and it functioned well until the 21stcentury. The film looks at the archaic meanings of this common law and its perception by the community, by the Church and the authorities, while revisiting terrible stories of vendettas of a not-so-distant past.
Directed by Dumitru Budrala | Romania | 2017