TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘The Hill Where Lionesses Roar’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2021 by - September 11, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘The Hill Where Lionesses Roar’

I need to write about something before I get to the three protagonists of The Hill Where Lionesses Roar. Because it doesn’t hurt to mention that the film’s French-Kosovan director Luana Bajrami has the most enthusiastic intro video so far. Whether or not that enthusiasm translates in the actual work is something viewers will have to find out for themselves. And now we can discuss those three protagonists Qe (Flaka Latifi), Li (Era Balaj), and Jeta (Uratë Shabani). They live in a small town in Kosovo where all they can do is cautiously interrogate a girl returning from France (Bajrami) and attend weddings. Oh, and they also rob establishments. The film then chronicles their eventual escalation from petty thieves to robbing establishments that sell jewelry.

Viewers can see that this film is more of a coming of age film than it is a heist one. We don’t see the planning scenes that we normally do in the latter. Instead we see landscapes and the occasional robbing montage. And it gets to the stage where the film’s beauty and bucolic qualities become frustrating and mind numbing. It also doesn’t help that Bajrami’s script only gives two of her three leads some personality, waiting for the third act to give the third person something to do. Surely there are films out there that reveal two characters’ sexuality in that third act. Perhaps it’s the film’s way of not making a big deal out of its characters’ traits. Then, why should we?

  • Release Date: 9/11/2021
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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