WROCLAW, Poland — Seen by some as a cinematographic act of atonement for the Balkans civil wars of the 1990s, Srdan Golubovic’s Circles has been nominated as Serbia’s submission for best foreign language film at the 86th Academy Awards in March.
The director’s third film — his last in 2007 was the shocking thriller The Trap — it addresses the long-term consequences of war and violence.
The title begins with an act of brutal aggression against Haris, a Muslim civilian, by three Serbian soldiers in 1993. The act was witnessed by another solider, Marko, whose intervention brings about his own death. The film then moves forward to 2008 when, long after the war ends, its wounds are still open.
It follows the interlocking stories of three survivors: Marko’s father, who is offered help rebuilding a war-damaged church by one of his son’s killers; Marko’s friend, a surgeon, who is faced with performing a lifesaving operation on another killer; and Haris, now living in Germany, who has a unique opportunity to repay his debt to his savior.
The film took nine votes against five for Miroslav Momcilovic’s Death of a Man in the Balkans at the Expert Committee of the Serbian Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences selection meeting, Serbian news wire In Serbia reported.
It has already picked up half a dozen awards, including a special jury prize at Sundance, Grand Prix in Yerevan, best director in Wiesbaden’s Go East and audience awards in Sofia and Sarajevo.
Another former Yugoslav country, Montenegro, for the first time nominated an entry for the Oscars: Draska Djurovic’s Bad Destiny, which stars Hollywood actor Michael Madsen.