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Bosnian film 'Quo Vadis, Aida?' wins European Parliament's LUX film award

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By Stefan Grobe
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The Lux Audience Award pictured in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Wednesday 8th June 2022.
The Lux Audience Award pictured in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Wednesday 8th June 2022.   -   Copyright  Alain ROLLAND/European Union 2022 - Source : EP

Bosnian film "Quo Vadis, Aida?" has won the European Parliament's film prize, after fending off competition from two other nominees. 

The LUX European Audience Film Award 2022 was presented to 47-year-old Bosnian director Jasmina Zbanic, who continues to pick up prizes for what critics have called a searing account of the devastating human toll of war.

The film dramatises events of the Srebrenica massacre, during which Serbian troops sent Bosniak men and boys to death in July 1995. Named after its protagonist, "Quo Vadis, Aida?" shows events through the eyes of a mother named Aida, a schoolteacher who works with the United Nations as a translator.

The award winner, who was accompanied by a Srebrenica survivor at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, told Euronews that she sees parallels with today's war in Ukraine.

"For me, it's really sad that we as Europeans didn't learn anything from the Balkan Wars. We didn't learn how to talk before war happens. Now it's madness of war," Zbanic said on Wednesday.

"But there were signs that war was prepared, and we didn't look at these signs and we didn't find a way not to have war in Europe. For me, this is really, really sad. It makes me very sad that people are dying when we are talking about it."

The ending of "Quo Vadis, Aida?" is ambiguous - it makes clear that many perpetrators escaped with impunity.

It has also been universally acclaimed by critics and received multiple awards, as well as being nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2020 and the Academy Awards a year later.

The two other nominees were “Flee” by Danish director Jonas Poher Rasmussen and “Great Freedom” by Austrian movie maker Sebastian Meise.