Quo Vadis, Aida? won the hearts and votes of European audiences and MEPs to take the 2022 LUX Audience Award.
The film recounts the story of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide through the eyes of Aida, a teacher turned translator for the UN peacekeeping forces.
The other two nominees in 2022 were Flee by Danish director Jonas Poher Rasmussen and Great Freedom by Austrian director Sebastian Meise.
Organised by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy in partnership with the European Commission and Europa Cinema, the award combines the votes of the public with those of MEPs witheach group weighing 50%.
Read more about the 2022 LUX Audience Award nominees
Interview with the winner
Talking about the main character Aida, the film’s director said: "I was inspired by the women of Srebrenica, like Munira. They have organisations who are changing Bosnian society. They are women who lost their sons and members of their families, and husbands, but they are still fighting for truth, fighting for reconciliation in our area, they are calling for peace and never spreading any words of hatred."
As a survivor of the massacre, Subašić explained the importance of remembering what happened: "Unless we talk, things will be forgotten. In order for this not to be repeated with my grandchildren we have to speak the truth at all times and we have to wait for justice to be done. (...) Many children are being killed, many mothers are crying now in Ukraine."
The sad similarities with the Ukraine war also struck Žbanić: "I was very shocked with news about the war. It triggered lots of sadness in Bosnia, people are really traumatised by the reappearance of war in Europe." The same justifications are being used, she said. There are "a lot of lies, a lot of false justifications".
The conversation ended on a hopeful note, with the director talking about young people who connected to the film, although they were not even born at the time of the events. "What I learned from reactions is that people want to see these films. Luckily we live in Europe where there are funds who support this kind of film...Tthrough arts and through films we can tell difficult stories that maybe will not take us to popcorn on Saturday night, but will give us other values."
Learn more about the LUX Audience Award.