Self-imposed borders, whether physical or ideological, often define one’s nationality, tradition, and gender. American director Joshua Marston is fascinated by the way these facets of identity overlap, constructing films about young characters forced to challenge predetermined limits of control in their respective cultures and communities. That his gaze focuses so intensely on countries outside of his own—Colombia in 2004’s Maria Full of Grace and Albania in 2011’sThe Forgiveness of Blood—makes his thematic concerns even more evocative. Marston’s background in journalism and political science shapes his keen directorial eye, especially in the level of detail he brings to examining the familial hierarchies and cultural stigmas at odds in The Forgiveness of Blood. For him, it’s not just about the authenticity of place, but also the authenticity of conflicting experiences.