Simultaneous screening: “We waited for 25 years for this film”

Simultaneous screening: “We waited for 25 years for this film”

Simultaneous screenings: 1# Quo Vadis, Aida? (29 March)

During the last week of March, the three films nominated for the 2022 LUX Audience Award  Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Great Freedom by Sebastian Meise, and Quo Vadis, Aida? by Jasmila Žbanić— were presented in simultaneous screenings across the EU Member States as part of the LUX Audience Week (as part of the LUX Film Days campaign). These special screenings, organised by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy in collaboration with the European Commission and the Europa Cinemas network, were followed by Q&As with film crew members and other experts on the films’ topics. The European Parliament and its partners profited the opportunity to show their commitment and support to the people of Ukraine by displaying the Ukrainian flag after the screenings.

The multi-day event started on 29th March with the screening of Quo Vadis, Aida?, by Jasmila Žbanić. This powerful drama about the Srebrenica massacre was shown simultaneously in 16 theatres located in 14 countries. The Q&A was live-streamed from Cinema Le Palace in Brussels  and the debate is  accessible via the LUX Audience Award Facebook page. The Cineuropa editor-in-chief Domenico La Portamoderated the event andwas joined remotely by Ajše Hafizović-Hadžimešić, author of the book "On the side of humanity", and Munira Subašić, president of the Srebrenica Mothers Association, both survivors of the genocide.

During their inspiring conversation, Ajse and Munira, two women of the project recalled their first meetings with Žbanić, when she was still researching for the film. “She listened to our stories and combined them in the film”. When asked if Quo Vadis, Aida? was a faithful representation of the actual event and if it gave justice to the victims, Hafizović-Hadžimešić stated: “It is not just a film, it is real life. We waited 25 years for this, and we congratulate Jasmila for her courage”. Subašić also expressed her concerns about the current war in Europe: “We hoped this would be the last film about the topic, but unfortunately, mothers in Ukraine are also losing their children”.

The audience present in the different theatres could join the debate by posting their questions online, which led to interesting conversations about the aftermath of the massacre in 1995. The two survivors discussed how difficult it was for people in Bosnia to regain trust in the European institutions, as well as to go back to a “normal” life while forced to live next door to some of the perpetrators. “I do not forgive the people who killed my family, but I do not hate them”, said Subašić, sharing her wish for a future of hope and love for her grandchildren. She encouraged people to vote for Žbanić’s feature: “It is important to show this film because we have to tell the truth”.

European audiences can still vote for the three nominated films until 25 May on the LUX Audience Award official website.