Quo Vadis, Aida?
The Oscar for Best International Film comes down to this movie and Another Round.
This is a devastating film that will scorch your soul. It is based on a true story during the Bosnian war in 1995 where over 9000 Muslims, mostly men and boys, living in a small town, were gunned down by the Serbian Army.
Jasna Durćić, denied Oscar consideration, gives one of the great performances you will see in any 2020 film. She plays Aida, a school teacher serving as a translator for the UN.
When the Serbian Army enters Srebrenica, her town, the residents flee to the UN camp to seek safety. That includes Aida’s husband and two teenage sons. Negotiations then take place with Serbian General Miadic, played in an unforgettable hateful performance by Boris Isaković, to determine the fate of the Srebrenica citizens.
In the process, you watch Aida’s increasing desperation as she tries to separate her family from a crowd that appears doomed. When an agreement is reached that will send the men and women away in separate buses under Serbian “protection” for an alleged safe destination, your heart will break as Aida is forced to say goodbye to her family.
Let me simply say that the film ends with Aida returning as a teacher years later. She has no smile on her face and neither will you. You leave the theater remembering the moment when her husband rejected fake UN identification to get on the bus with their boys to protect them.
We live in an ugly world, my friends.