Quo Vadis, Aida?: it is ample evidence of the power and quality of Jasmila Žbanić’s war drama how agonizingly hard it is to watch the film. The film smartly avoids on-screen violence, but the idea of what is happening and about to happen (anyone with a modicum of historical knowledge has a sense of where the story is generally going) is simply too strong. The choice to focus on a lioness of a mother, who is unable to fight the powerlessness of the good and the wiliness of the wicked, also gives the film an emotional center. It’s a beautiful performance by Jasna Đuričić, as she struggles to keep her family safe but can’t simply let it go and lose control. The film shines in its aesthetic simplicity and elegance; cinematographer Christine A. Maier and editor Jarosław Kamiński’s work is very classic and efficient.
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