Skip to main content

1844 Entertainment Announces the North American Premiere of GOD EXISTS, HER NAME IS PETRUNYA June 25, 2021

God Exists Her Name is Petrunya is based on a true story. It takes place in Stip, a small town in Macedonia. Every 19th of January for the holiday of Epiphany, the throwing of the cross event takes place in almost all the Orthodox world of Eastern Europe. The local priest throws a wooden cross into the river and hundreds of men dive after it. Good fortune and prosperity are guaranteed to the man who retrieves it. This time, the young woman Petrunya dives into the water on a whim and manages to grab the cross before the others. Her competitors are furious, the local population as well as religious establishments are outraged as women aren’t allowed to take part in the ritual.  All hell breaks loose, but Petrunya holds her ground. The next day, in an interview to the local television station she encourages more women to jump for the cross in the future. She is labelled by the population as a "crazy/disturbed/troubled" young woman.

Says writer/director Mitevska, "The reactions to the event exposed a social conformism and revealed the misogyny that is supported by the deeply ingrained patriarchal norms. It was frustrating and maddening. The story of Petrunya rose from this frustration, we had to react...I don’t have the answer of how to balance tradition and modernity, neither of what is the place of tradition in the future. What I am concerned is how can tradition be modulated to, for example, involve women on a more equal level? If this story was happening in an office and was about breaking the glass ceiling, things would be more evident, but by placing it in a traditional environment, in a small Macedonian town, things become more complex. Even today it is very difficult to function as a strong woman in the Balkan environment. And here comes the good old dilemma between individualistic and social feminism. I know many people have a problem with the #MeToo movement, mostly with the lack of ideology behind it, but what we have definitely learned from it is that when idea becomes part of a united front, change is possible, and solidarity becomes the key...I have heard that the real girl who caught the cross now lives in London… To be frank, her life would have been very difficult if she had stayed in Stip." 

June 25, 2021

in Theatres & Virtual Cinemas

God Exists her name is Petrunya trailer from 1844 Entertainment on Vimeo.