Just as World War I is about to break out, Filip, a Serbian school headmaster, moves into a border village with his beautiful Slovenian teacher wife, Lea. Filip is called away to serve in the army. He asks various locals to look out for Lea, but they don’t know the difference between a Slovenian and an Austrian and think of her as an enemy. No one wants to take the responsibility, so Filip falls back on an Albanian servant, Azem. The title, Besa, refers to the solemn oath that Azem takes to protect Lea. To say that these two are from different worlds is an understatement. She listens to German opera; he grunts. Feeling like a prisoner, Lea sneaks out and is almost raped, but Azem saves her. To play it safe, Azem ties a rope around Lea’s leg and holds onto the other end to make sure she doesn’t try to escape again. Gradually, they come to appreciate one another, and their growing relationship is touching. At the end, we discover, rather surprisingly, that Besa is based on a true story and we learn what happened to the real people upon whom the fictional characters were based.