in cinema now: Grbavica

This year’s Berlinale Golden Bear winner ‘Grbavica‘ is starting this week in the cinemas here. The film unfolds its story around the traumatic impact of war rape for a muslim mother, who tries to hide that fact as well to herself and her daughter, as to the surrounding society, which equally tries to ignore post-war syndroms.
Young filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic explains that she felt a necessity for her own to deal with Bosdnia’s traumatic past and the lingering impact:“People go on living normally and things from the war are just hidden, and it’s like in Esma’s world, she has her pain which is hidden, it’s not so obvious. War is obvious because you see blood and dead people but this post-war also has a lot of invisible pain.” (link)

Synopsis: Single mother Esma lives with her 12 year-old daughter, Sara, in post-war Sarajevo. When mother and daughter discuss the delicate topic of the death of Sara’s father, a war hero, Esma’s responses are always vague. The situation becomes more complicated when the school offers to take pupils on a free trip, provided they can furnish a certificate proving that they are the offspring of a war hero. Sara can’t get rid of the nagging feeling that something’s not right when she is not on the list of the orphans of war heroes. Esma breaks down and brutally reveals the painful facts: Esma was raped in a prisoner-of-war camp. The first step is overcoming the trauma…

UPDATE: arte has collected quite some information on this film in french and german

Print Friendly, PDF & Email