This deserving submission for Best International Feature comes from Jasmila Zbanic which leads up to the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of over eight-thousand Muslim men and boys by a Bosnian/Serb paramilitary militia of Ratko Miadic here known as Nihad.
So, based on these true harrowing events comes Quo Vadis, Aida? (fully subtitled) which posits a wife and mother of two sons into very desperate circumstances surrounding UN peacekeepers, including Dutch NATO units.
Jasna Duricic fills the role of an empathetic teacher who has landed work as a translator for those in charge of denizens in a local ‘safe area.’ These folks are very skeptical of purported protection with the top brass not acquiescing to Dutch military’s request of air support against Nihad Izudin Bajrovic) and his soldiers effectively expressed by the filmmakers.
Mrs. Selmangic (Duricic gradually becomes quite riveting as it’s evident what horror Mladic is capable of doing to thousands who’ve found sanctuary at the NATO camp) brings an immediacy to saving her husband and sons. Miadic’ infantry are receptive to an unnerved Aida whose sons were part of the country’s Muslim and Christian students in the country’s schools.
Zbanic works an often mesmeric, if uneasy look from the actual life of Hasan Nuhanovic in Srebrenica for the Dutch as a translator whose parents and brother fell to the murderous hands of the Serbs. Bajrovic ably endows the mighty Nihad (who offscreen was finally convicted in 2017 for crimes against humanity) who kept a frantic Auda driven against enormous cruelty. The potent, persuasive way amidst tragedy whose title (which literally translates as ‘where are you marching?’ Might slow up a bit as it concludes but definitely resonates with the spirit of prestigious efforts like Hotel Rwanda.