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Bosnian Drama Quo Vadis, Aida? Wins Top European Film Awards

A scene from the Bosnian film Quo vadis, Aida starring Jasna Djuricic (center)
A scene from the Bosnian film Quo vadis, Aida starring Jasna Djuricic (center)

A Bosnian wartime drama that tells the bitter story of a UN translator watching helplessly as one of postwar Europe's worst atrocities unfolds has won the top prize and other big honors at the European Film Awards.

In addition to the best film prize on December 11, Quo Vadis, Aida? won Sarajevo-born Jasmila Zbanic the best-director award and Jasna Djuricic the best-actress honors in a virtual ceremony out of Berlin.

The film portrays the frustration of a translator for the United Nations in the town of Srebrenica ahead of the massacre by Bosnian Serb forces of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in July 1995.

Zbanic dedicated the film to the mothers and other women of Srebrenica, as well as the thousands of male friends and family members they lost.

"Women always have to clean up the chaos that men leave behind," Zbanic said.

Zbanic won a Golden Bear award in Berlin in 2006 for her feature Grbavica, about the life of a single mother in postwar Sarajevo.

Djuricic has hailed Quo Vadis, Aida?'s message of "reconciliation" amid waning public awareness of "the greatest wound in the Balkans," particularly among young people.

The European Film Awards are among the movie industry's most prestigious prizes, the result of voting among more than 4,000 academy members.

The four other nominees for best feature film were The Father, a French-British co-production about a man suffering from dementia, the French-Belgian horror-fantasy film Titane, the melancholic multinational production Compartment No 6, and the Italian drama The Hand Of God.

Based on reporting by dpa

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