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Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020)


This film was the Oscar entrant for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Aida, Jasna Djurici, is a UN translator trying desperately to save her family in the town of Srebrenica. It is based on the invasion of the town by the Serbian Army in 1995. Srebrenica was majority Bosnic Muslim and the Serbs are Eastern Orthodox Christians. I stopped this film multiple times to research more about the Bosnian war and where the Srebrenica massacre fit in.

Ratko Mladić, played by Boris Isakovic, was the leader of the insurgency and he filmed it all. The film shows Mladić directing his cameraman to film various things. The most famous event was a negotiation with representatives of the townspeople and the leader of the UN forces. The actual footage of those negotiations can be found on Youtube.

There is a lot of history in this film that shows how many terrible decisions were made and how the UN abandoned the people of Srebrenica. Colonel Karremans, Johan Heldenbergh, was a Dutch military commander working for the UN. He was tasked with protecting the Bosnic population but was never given the resources he needed.

This film is a sad story, 8,000 men and boys were systematically put on buses and murdered under Mladić’s direction. The film is technically great with solid performances all around. It will make you uneasy as you progress through it, but you may learn something about a part of the world that you didn’t and events that happened less than thirty years ago. It did not win best international film, but the fact that it was nominated should get your attention, it deserves a watch and some follow-up time for a little more research.

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