Map of South-Eastern Europe

Film Profile


Grbavica / Grbavica

At first glance, life in Sarajevo is much the same as in any other post- Communist state. But only the former Yugoslavia a few years ago was the scene of a war in which people were tortured, murdered, and systematically raped. The population’s wartime experience subconsciously dominates their lives, even if everybody is at pains to keep up some appearance of normality. That is the case with Esma, a single mother who lives with her adolescent daughter Sara in the Grbavica quarter of Sarajevo, and is kept busy by problems like getting enough money together to pay for school excursions. She enjoys some moments of hope with a former soldier she meets at work. The fi lm is also about people like him: Students who went to war and are now struggling to find a place in civilian life. At home he has a mother who believes Sarajevo is still under siege: Day-to-day reality in Sarajevo, where therapeutic centres have opened for traumatised women. Faced with a love-sick teenager who is demanding her independence and more information about her father, Esma is determined not to let things fall apart. But the secret she carries begins to take over her life, the memories refuse to be restrained. The truth comes to light after matters come to a head – and only then can mother and daughter begin to understand each other. With its uncluttered narrative and wintry grey images the fi lm expresses the situation in Bosnia, where peaceful co-existence and day-to-day normality are possible, but genuine reconciliation – and a basis for new life – can only come about after the events of the past have been brutally articulated. Golden Bear winner at Berlin in 2006.

Bosnia and Herzegowina / Croatia / Austria / Germany 2006
90 min, 35mm, colour

Jasmila Žbanić

Mirjana Karanović
Luna Mijović
Leon Lučev
Kenan Ćatić
Jasna Ornela Berry

Christine Maier

Kemal Hrustanović

Niki Mossböck

Barbara Albert
Damir Ibrahimović
Bruno Wagner

coop99, Vienna
Deblokada, Sarajevo
Noirfilm, Karlsruhe
Jadran Film, Zagreb


Jasmila Žbanić

Enes Zlatar

ZDF/Das kleine Fernsehspiel, Mainz / Arte

Austrian Film Commission, Vienna

Jasmila Žbanić

Born on 19.12.1974 in Sarajevo.
Jasmila Žbanić graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts – ASU in Sarajevo, department of theatre and film directing. As director
and scriptwriter she founded, in 1997, an artists association, later transformed into a film production company named “Deblokada”, under the aegis of which she produced ten short films and documentaries as well as art videos. They were shown successfully at international festivals, among them a show at the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel in 2004. In 2005 she contributed to the omnibus film LOST AND FOUND which ran out of competition at goEast. GRBAVICA is Žbanić’s first feature film.

2000 Crvene gumene čizme / Red Rubber Boots
2003 Do you remember Sarajevo
2003 Slike sa ugla / Images from the Corner
2005 Lost and Found
2006 Grbavica

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