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Film Data
Quo Vadis, Aida?  2020
Director:  Jasmila Žbanic
Producer:
  Damir Ibrahimovic and Jasmila Žbanic
Art Director:
  Zeljka Buric and Sabine Engelberg
Editor:
  Jaroslaw Kaminski
Music:
  Antoni Lazarkiewicz
Screenplay:
  Jasmila Žbanić
Director of Photography:
  Christine A. Maier
slideshow
Cast:
spacer1 Jasna Đuričić
spacer1 Izudin Bajrović
spacer1 Boris Ler
spacer1 Dino Bajrovic
spacer1 Boris Isaković
spacer1 Johan Heldenbergh
spacer1 Raymond Thiry
spacer1 Emir Hadžihafizbegović
spacer1 Edita Malovcic
spacer1 Reinout Bussemaker
spacer1 Joes Brauers
spacer1 Teun Luijkx
spacer1 Jasna Đuričić spacer1 Izudin Bajrović spacer1 Boris Ler
spacer1 Dino Bajrovic spacer1 Boris Isaković spacer1 Johan Heldenbergh
spacer1 Raymond Thiry spacer1 Emir Hadžihafizbegović spacer1 Edita Malovcic
spacer1 Reinout Bussemaker spacer1 Joes Brauers spacer1 Teun Luijkx
spacer1 Jasna Đuričić spacer1 Izudin Bajrović
spacer1 Boris Ler spacer1 Dino Bajrovic
spacer1 Boris Isaković spacer1 Johan Heldenbergh
spacer1 Raymond Thiry spacer1 Emir Hadžihafizbegović
spacer1 Edita Malovcic spacer1 Reinout Bussemaker
spacer1 Joes Brauers spacer1 Teun Luijkx

Synopsis:
Just because we deem certain things unimaginable doesn’t mean they cannot – and have not – already occurred. Twenty-five years after 8,372 Bosniak men and boys were slaughtered in Srebrenica during the Bosnian genocide, Jasmila Žbanić (Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams, 2008; For Those Who Can Tell No Tales, 2013) brings forth her monumental fifth feature, Quo Vadis, Aïda?

Based on these true events, the film tells the story of Aïda (Jasna Ðuričić), a middle-aged English teacher and translator taking shelter in a United Nations military base operated by Dutch peacekeepers, alongside her husband, two sons, and 30,000 other refugees. As the Serbian army encroaches on the town and fatal round-ups begin, a UN ultimatum is ignored by the invading forces relentlessly shelling the besieged civilians.

The protection of the UN peacekeepers crumbles as the situation escalates with the arrival of Republika Srpska army commander Ratko Mladić (Boris Isaković), who would later be convicted as a war criminal for his actions during the Yugoslav Wars. With the UN’s uselessness laid bare, and the refugees left as lambs to the slaughter, Aïda frantically scrambles to save her family within the so-called safe zone.

Review:
Ðuričić is outstanding under Žbanić’s elucidative and sharp direction. Žbanić, who always marches to the beat of her own drum, is in a league of her own in this exploration of courage, resilience, and man’s monstrous capabilities. As its eponymous heroine’s bargaining to save her family gives way to sacrifice, Quo Vadis, Aïda? plays like a waking nightmare in the darkest corridors of the soul. It’s too late to ask where humanity went during this horrific ordeal. Now, we only have the accounts of those who survived. That these memories of atrocity are so masterfully assembled in this heart-wrenching artifact by Žbanić – who herself survived the war – is a testament to the indomitable human spirit.

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