Director Jasmila Zpanik was a 17-year-old student living in Sarajevo with her family when the Bosnian war began in April 1992. As clashes broke out around the Bosnian referendum for the first time, she said no one could have imagined there would be a full-blown war. “It started like [the] Riots in Congress in January in [the] The United States … I was happy when this happened because I thought something cool not to go to and go to school [the] The whole city stops, “she says.
Instead, the siege of Sarajevo that followed became part of the longest and bloodiest armed conflict in Europe since World War II. This experience marked her as a young woman – and as an artist – and her award-winning films explored the legacy of war with a special focus on women’s stories. Her latest movie Koo Fades, Aida? It is among the Academy Awards nominees for Best International Film of the Year, as it highlights the genocide of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in July 1995.
Journalist Christiane Amanpour, who covered the war for CNN, said she was “astonished” by the film and brought her straight back to the asymmetry of that conflict. “I was a young woman in my first real war, and it took several weeks, maybe two months, to realize that in Bosnia there was no doubt that there was an aggressor, clearly defined and there were victims, clearly defined. The attackers were white Christian Serbs and Bosnian Serbs. White European Muslims and the aggressor’s aim was precisely to define genocide: to destroy a community in part or entirely based on their race.
Zabanek spent years researching real-world politics and the mass violence that had erupted in Srebrenica, but she says she knew she was also making a movie piece. “The media deal with shocking numbers or images, but cinema allows us to get to know the characters, spend time with them, and make their decisions. [the] I feel it is in real time. “
Its version avoids onscreen violence and widescreen battles for an immersive and more intimate experience than traditional Hollywood war movies. “I just respect [the] The audience very much I know that [an] The audience can imagine many things, so I didn’t show the blood and violence in a clear way. I really think we don’t need to see men in blood to know that they’ve all killed. “
Zbanic tells the story of Srebrenica through Aida, a former teacher who works as a translator for the United Nations forces. Played by famed Serbian actress Jasna Dor, Aida rushes between meetings and military negotiations as Srebrenica is subjected to ethnic cleansing, and her family joins thousands of refugees outside the gates of the UN base to seek protection. Despite her privileged status as a UN employee, she is unable to guarantee the safety of her family. Zabanek says the UN has betrayed the people it sought to protect and that Aida is a tragic figure at the intersection of this impossible situation. In a landmark 1999 report completed under then Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the United Nations acknowledged its systematic failure to intervene and protect civilians in Srebrenica.
Although Bosnia was entering the Oscars for this year, the movie was just too painful for some viewers. Amir Husak, a Bosnian filmmaker and media studies researcher at the New School, says, “I can tell you that many of my friends and family reported that they could not finish the film in one sitting. It is a collective shock that we“ talk about it again and bring back many painful memories. ” .
More than 25 years after the events of Srebrenica, the bones of missing victims are still being found in mass graves surrounding the forests where the film was shot. Zabanek says she has been following the stories of these discoveries and Koo Fades, Aida? Includes Aida’s own research on currently closing. In this screen shot, panik says she wanted to pay tribute to the mothers of Srebrenica who had shown a way beyond the politics of revenge.
“These women in Srebrenica are what we thought they were saints,” she adds. “They really come back and face these perpetrators and there was not a single case of revenge. They shaped our country in absolutely unbelievable ways because they said there is no revenge, we just want the people who committed murders to be in prison and they always talk about truth and justice, not revenge, and how it should be. To live together. “
So the title of the movie – Koo Fades, Aida? – Taken from the apocryphal Christian tradition The question arises at the heart of the film’s story: Where is Aida heading and where is society heading after the end of the war?