Oscars: Serbia Nominates 'Circles' for Best Foreign Language Category

Director Srdan Golubovic's film is about the long-term human fallout from civil war.

Srdan Golubovic's Circles has been nominated as Serbia's submission for best foreign language category at the 86th Academy Awards next March, the Serbian Film Center said on Thursday. 

Seen by some as a cinematographic act of atonement for the Balkan civil wars of the 1990s, it is the director's third film. It addresses the long-term consequences of war and violence.

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Beginning with an act of brutal aggression against Haris, a Muslim civilian, by three Serbian soldiers in 1993, 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, while rebuilding a war-damaged church, is offered help by one of his son's killers; Marko's friend, a surgeon, who is faced with performing a life-saving operation on another killer; and Haris, now living in Germany, who has a unique opportunity to repay his debt to his savior.

It is not Golubovic's first film exploring the extremes of the human experience and violence.

His second film, in 2007, was the shocking thriller, The Trap, in which a father is forced to turn into an assassin if he wishes to secure his son an urgent, but impossibly expensive life-saving operation.

Circles, produced by Jelena Mitrovic of Belgrade-based Film House Bas Celik, 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.