Quo Vadis, Aida? – 8.5

A true story about the Serbs’ 1995 massacre of Bosnians in Srebenica is told in sidelong fashion by focusing, instead, on the motherly desperation of Aida, a Bosnian translator working for the UN in its “safe haven,” to protect her husband and two sons. Jasna Duricic is sensational as the competent and fiercely determined translator, giving the film its documentary look of real people, by the thousands, including other leads who look just like their characters’ pictures on Wikipedia. What I didn’t learn about the Balkan War in this 1:45 I picked up in Internet research I felt I needed immediately following, which is the true compliment to the power of this film. My only quibble: director Jasmila Zbanic put in one or two too many vain entreaties by Aida to the feckless Dutch forces. We had gotten the point, and it was devastating.

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