IFC – QUO VADIS: AIDA?
Inspired by true events, writer/director Jasmila Žbanić’s gripping, Oscar-nominated thriller tells the story of a United Nations translator attempting to save the lives of her family, whilst pandemonium and escalating conflict rages around them.
Bosnia, July 1995. Middle-aged Aida (Jasna Ðuričić) is an English teacher in the small mountain town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army ignores a formal UN ultimatum and begins a series of round-ups and brazen shellings, Aida and her family find themselves among over 30,000 besieged citizens attempting to shelter in a UN peacekeeper-operated military base on the outskirts of town, designed to house only a few thousand. Aida’s skills as a translator enable her to eventually bargain her husband and two sons inside, literally under the wire.
There, within the so-called safe zone, the harried and frantic Aida becomes party to the negotiations and to crucial information. While the support the UN can provide is crumbling, the situation intensifies with the arrival of vainglorious army commander Ratko Mladić (Boris Isaković), accompanied by his own camera crew. What is at the horizon for Aida’s family and people—rescue or death? Which moves should she make?
Without depicting anything more explicit than a slap in the face, Žbanić —herself a survivor of the war – masterfully delivers a film of universal urgency and power: a heart-rending story of courage and resilience in the face of man’s terrible capabilities; of those who knew what was happening, and those who looked away. As fierce and spellbinding as its lead performance, QUO VADIS, AIDA? is a resonant testament to the indomitable human spirit. It’s unforgettable cinema.
Astonishing & unforgettable” – A.O. Scott, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“A masterful high-wire act.” – Carlos Aguilar, THE PLAYLIST