Apr 29, 2022

Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020)

Quo Vadis, Aida? is a 2020 Bosnian film written, produced and directed by Jasmila Žbanić. An international co-production of twelve production companies, the film was shown in the main competition section of the 77th Venice International Film Festival. It was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards and has won the Award for Best Film at the 34th European Film Awards.

Aida is a translator for the UN in the small town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army takes over the town, her family is among the thousands of citizens looking for shelter in the UN camp.
Freddy and Krasnaya Movie Review

F: I say, It would be a good idea to avoid war movies during this time, but I had this on my list for sometime and we just had to see it. Our blog is meant for small talk and short conversations, so I will try to focus on the movie itself and its fiction, instead of all the Bosnian war context and politics. This is a heavy topic and it takes courage and much needed care to make a movie about the Srebrenica genocide, since this happened not too long ago. The movie starts by saying that it is based on true events. Well, Aida's story is not real. The genocide, war criminal Ratko Mladić and the useless UN safe zone, those are real. 

K: Quo vadis, Aida? is a very emotional movie to watch nowadays.
Who would have thought that in the very center of Europe - in Bosnia, at the end of the twentieth century, there would be a genocide, the largest since the Second World War? 27 years later, this film should warn us of events happening in Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh and other places around the world.

F: It's an obviously gripping movie that follows a short, sequential and intense period of time. Everyone in this cast does an excellent job filling their roles in this crisis scenario. The main character, the UN translator Aida, created an internal conflict in me. I could understand her desperation and will to save her family, but I could also understand the UN position. Should they have bent the rules and saved Aida's family? The UN impotence and lack of means to help people is understandable when looking at who's on the terrain. But what happened in the highest chain of command? What hard decisions were so difficult to make at the UN headquarters in New York? Were all the decision makers really on a vacation as is understood in the movie through the Dutch officer phone call? If so, that's freakin' unbelievable.

K: The movie is incredibly powerful and emotionally violent. You won't see a single corpse in the film nor a single drop of blood. But you will see the despair of people driven into a trap, realizing the hopelessness of their situation. Jasna Đuričić (Aida) did an amazing job. She plays this role so well, a desperate mother who fights for her sons and family to the end. My heart squeezed in the moment when all her family was taken away from her. At the end of the film, I realized that it was also a huge slap in the face of the UN, whose help was not only useless, but perhaps, even aggravated the fate of the inhabitants of Srebrenica.

F: We know where we are headed from the beginning of the movie, but when we reach the theater, that's when we feel it. We feel everything after those sickening words from the Serbian soldiers before they closed the theater doors. This movie can only leave you feeling hopeless. War is a bitch and sadistic criminal psychopaths always get their chance to shine. I have to mention the Ratko Mladić bus scene, and how you can watch the real footage of his little speech, almost identical word for word. You can check it out below.

K: For me, there is one failure in this movie - it immediately throws you into events. I didn't even have time to understand what was going on. I am only superficially familiar with the historical events that are discussed in the film, so I did not even fully understand what the cause of the Balkan conflict was, where it came from and so on. So I would like to see a bit more explanation.

F: This isn't a documentary, Krasnaya. 😜

F: When all is over we ask, where is Aida going? Like Jesus, Aida rises. She continues her job as a teacher, a teacher now with some students from people responsible for the death of her family. Was she able to forgive everything and give peace a chance? I highly recommend this movie if you aren't sick and tired of war news.

Freddy's Score: 79/100
Krasnaya's Score: 85/100





1 comment:

  1. Honestly, this is seriously overrated film by critics...