It's clear where this slow-burning, scant-dialogue pic is headed from the get-go.
Two people visiting their Albanian jailbird spouses for a monthly dose of government-sanctioned sex instead find — and, not much later, do — each other in “Amnesty,” from tyro scribe-helmer Bujar Alimani. It’s clear where all this is headed from the get-go, so it’s a shame the Albanian-born, Greece-based filmmaker wastes almost half the running time on the protags’ separate lives before piling on the ironic twists as soon as they hit it off. Regional fests will provide absolution, but Alimani’s slow-burning, scant-dialogue approach won’t translate commercially offshore.
Elsa (Luli Bitri) travels to the capital monthly for her designated marital sex date (“This is a new European law,” it’s explained). Middle-aged Sheptim (Karafil Shena) does the same for his incarcerated wife. Unemployed Elsa’s occupied with her preteen boys and hardnosed father-in-law (Todi Llupi), while Sheptim keeps busy with his porn vids and leaking washing machine. Around the halfway mark, pic finally hits its stride and then spends itself almost immediately. Lenser Elias Adamis’ compositions underline the loneliness of the characters, and wisely keep the faces of the criminal better halves offscreen.