is a wonderfully balanced film from Bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic
about the horrors of war, seen in retrospect from the perspective of a
female ex-POW and her teenage daughter. Grbavica is saturated
with a pleasant everyday warmth, even if it depicts a society still
struggling from the aftermaths of war. But, in Zbanic's vision, this is a
society filled with potential, filled with possibilities - especially
for women, who are about to cut loose from previous paternal curbs and
find themselves in a new Europe. It is a film filled with insight, not
only on behalf of women, but on behalf of an entire region and culture.
And despite its ultimately grave subject-matter, which Zbanic describes
with decency, compassion and poignancy, she more than anything wants to
depict her genuine belief in people and our goodness. It is a
wonderfully positive film which delves into both the horrors of
war and the ordeal of coming off age. It's alternately sexy and
constrained, just like East-European women, I suspect Zbanic would say.