Grbavica , writer-director Jasmila Zbanic's emotionally intimate debut, features a powerfully blunt performance by Mirjana Karanovic as Esma, a woman who survived warfare in Bosnia…
Movie Review

Grbavica

BOSNIA NOVA Karanovic (right) gives a star-worthy performance as a woman haunted by war in Grbavica
BOSNIA NOVA Karanovic (right) gives a star-worthy performance as a woman haunted by war in Grbavica

Grbavica, writer-director Jasmila Zbanic's emotionally intimate debut, features a powerfully blunt performance by Mirjana Karanovic as Esma, a woman who survived warfare in Bosnia (with its wretched descent into rape and torture). The trauma seeps into every aspect of Esma's life as a single mother in the Sarajevo suburb of Grbavica (once the site of a prison camp), from her relationship with her daughter to her reaction to men. The dramatic conflicts are soapy and unsubtle, but Karanovic pours intense authority into Esma's scarred psyche. B

Originally posted Feb 27, 2007 Published in issue #924 Mar 09, 2007 Order article reprints