2006 || Bosnia-Austria || 35mm || Color || in Bosnian || Feature


The Match Factory (Cologne)


BERLIN 2006 - Golden Bear
BERLIN 2006 - Ecumenical Prize
BERLIN 2006 - Peace Prize


Single mother Esma lives with her 12-year-old daughter Sara in Sarajevo’s Grbavica neighborhood. Struggling on a meager pension, Esma takes a job as a cocktail waitress. Still haunted by violent events in her past, Esma attends group therapy sessions at the local Women’s Center. In addition to relying on her best friend Sabina, Esma also finds a kindred spirit in compassionate male co-worker Pelda. Esma suspiciously avoids Sara’s request for the certificate proving her father died a shaheed, a war martyr, to obtain a discount for an upcoming school trip. Confused Sara becomes violently upset when some classmates tease her for not being on the list of martyrs’ children. Sara aggressively demands the truth from her mother. Esma breaks down and brutally explains how the girl was conceived through rape in a POW camp. As painful as their confrontation is, it is Esma’s first real step toward overcoming her deep trauma. Despite Sara’s hurt, there is still an opening for a renewed relationship between mother and daughter.


Mirjana Karanovic, Luna Mijovic, Leon Lucev