Aida (a fantastic Jasna Djuricic) is a translator for the UN in the town of Srebenica in Bosnia in 1995 in this true story. By that time, a war between Serbs and Bosnians had led to incredible bloodshed, but the Serbs were at a point where they passed Srebenica, leading the UN soldiers and locals there. low on their heels when it comes to what happens next. As armed Serbs approached Srebenica, thousands of local Bosnians attempted to enter a UN base camp there, with only a few hundred people cleared before the gates were closed, leaving so many men, women and children outside, wondering what to do. next or where to go when the only place they’ve been told is safe won’t let them in.
With an in-depth knowledge of how negotiations and planning (or the lack thereof) play out between UN leaders and the Serbian military, Aida feels that everything is about to escalate. Tension has been building in the camp from the start, as there are no facilities or rations for those who have come there for safety, and Aida struggles at first to get her husband and son to pass. ‘one side of the door to the other, even knowing nothing is fixed when she does. “Quo Vadis, Aida?” is one of the best movies ever made about power shifts and how that kind of nightmare often plays out with slow, deliberate actions instead of the standard fast paced action movie making. Aida can see how the world around her becomes more and more dangerous, but bureaucracy and confusion continue to halt any effort to stop her.
One of Zbanic’s smartest decisions is to regularly focus Aida’s perspective exclusively, allowing us to stay invested in her decisions and actions. Apart from a prolonged negotiation with the head of the Serbian army with a few locals, including Aida’s husband, Zbanic remains by Aida’s side for most of the filming. Meetings that could determine her family’s fate are held behind closed doors, and we can feel Aida’s growing panic and worry, knowing in her heart that the UN workers she has been so loyal to will never do. probably not enough to save his family. Zbanic’s film speaks clearly about how often politics and inaction can lead to tragedy on an individual level, but she makes this point without feeling didactic about her film’s messages. It allows them to emerge from the story and the character, resulting in a film that moves instead of manipulating. As her situation becomes more and more desperate, we invest more and more in the fate of Aida and that of her family.