- Quo vadis, Aida? is an incisive docudrama. It is set in 1995 Bosnia, but it could be 1943 Poland with history sadly repeating itself.
- Jasmila Zbanic directs with great detail- there is no pandering. Jasna Djuricic plays Aida and this is her story. She is a translator for the UN—and she’s a mother, a wife, and a teacher.
- Through her eyes as a translator, the narrative sees both sides. The way the two strands of the story are told (macro and micro) through a translator—is inspired. She is not just doing a job either, she is from the region, and her family’s survival depends on the outcome of the involvement (or lack thereof) of the UN. Djuricic is superb. She is ferocious. And you can see her body slump when she feels complicit feeding the UN’s lies to her people on the megaphone. She holds some power in her role, and she is smart- a survivor.
- Zbanic does break Aida’s perspective a few times and that has some formal issues—but it does feel necessary- especially for the ghastly climax (which Zbanic holds with a longer take).
- There is a great shot (above) at the 13-minute mark where Aida jumps up high above the crowd to reveal literally thousands of people outside of the gate.
- The film infuriates and informs—while keeping you on the edge of your seat. The appalling impotency of the UN is tough to stomach. They make one concession at a time—akin to murder.
- Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2020
[…] Quo vadis, Aida? – Zbanic […]