Nominated for an Academy Award in the, “Best International Film” category, Jasmila Zbanic who wrote, produced, and directed the film takes on the story of Aida: a UN translator who must deal with life and death situations when her hometown of Srebrenica is taken over by the Army of Republika Srpska.
Jasna Đuričić provides a brilliant portrayal of Aida, a schoolteacher, a translator, but above all, a mother. Đuričić delivers a heart-wrenching performance as we watch her stand in the face of war and do everything in her power to protect her family.
The real kicker of the film? It’s based on the true events. The Srebrenica massacre occurred in 1995 and claimed the lives of over 8,000 Bosnian men and boys throughout the time of the Bosnian war. Over 1,700 bodies of these men and boys have still not been found.
Throughout the film we watch Aida, and the UN commanders deal with disappointment after disappointment such as airstrikes that never arrive and promises that are broken soon after they’re made. We watch as frustration turns into desperation, whether that be the struggle of a young woman trying to save her family, or that of a UN commander who's overrun and outmanned simply trying to get some help when everyone else has turned their backs.
Quo Vadis, Aida is categorized as a "War/Drama" but it is so much more than that, it constantly poses the question of, "how far are you willing to go for the ones you love?" and shows us just how quickly life can change from one day to the next.
Quo Vadis, Aida? Takes on the idea of war in a new light. Rather than focusing on the soldiers, the film focuses on the lives of the civilians, innocent people whose lives were forever changed in an instance.
As a Sundance film, BAFTA nominee, and now Academy Award nominee, Quo Vadis, Aida? does not disappoint. It is a beautiful and heartbreaking retelling of a very dark point in time and is guaranteed to leave even the strongest of audience members in tears.