“Grbavica”, a moving drama about Bosnia’s post-war trauma has emerged as an early favourite for the prestigious Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival.
The film’s title is a suburb of Sarajevo, but it has a second meaning: “woman with a hump”, which symbolically refers to the raped women. The film explores the lingering impact of the systematic rape of Bosnian women by Serb soldiers.
It tells the story of a Muslim woman who tries to hide the grisly truth of the past to protect her daughter. Mirjana Karanovic’s character, who is struggling to make ends meet as a waitress, is forced to deal with her past when her daughter questions what her father did in the war.
The film’s director, Jasmila Zbanic, says she hopes the movie will make the Bosnian government change the way it treats women raped during the siege of Sarajevo.