Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

Antoneta Kastrati, Casey Cooper Johnson, RKS/US

Marriage in Kosovo remains one of the most rigid social institutions. Recently, parliament rejected a motion to allow same-sex couples to form civil partnerships. Less than 25 percent of members voted in favour of the new law. The majority of households are still highly patriarchal.

Yet as Antoneta Kastrati and Casey Cooper Johnson show with their documentary, the tide is (very) gradually turning. The film accompanies four couples from different generations, regions and lifestyles in their day-to-day life, exploring how they deal with the challenges they face, from arranged marriages to infidelity, from childrearing to economic dependency.

Over the course of the film, the protagonists’ desires, expectations and disappointments come to the fore. What emerges is an in-depth insight into the precarity and complexity of love between people bonded together by social and economic needs.