Serbian director Srdan Golubovic tackles the scars of war in Circles, a moving film about the damage done to people’s souls from the hostilities that racked the region for years.
Based on a true story, the film opens with a horrific event in 1993. Marko (Vuk Kostic), a young Serbian soldier, returns on leave to his Bosnian town. He intervenes as a gang of
soldiers are mercilessly beating a Muslim shopkeeper (Leon Lucev), but before we can see what happens, the film jumps ahead 12 years to examine the consequences of the act.
What makes it all work is Golubovic’s obvious skill with actors and the quality of the performances. Lucev is appropriately resolute as the shopkeeper, while Rakocevic as the tortured doctor Bogdan and Bercek as Marko’s embittered father are pitch perfect. Golubovic and his cinematographer Aleksandar Ilic have an eye for the sparseness of this terrain, yet find the beauty in it. The camera remains still, so as not to disturb or overly embellish the fabric of these lives. When it finally comes, their redemption and forgiveness is like a breath of fresh air.
The Hollywood Reporter
‘Golubovic keeps the viewer so off-balance and hungry for story that the upshot is exhilaration’
Winner, World Cinema Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival
Winner, Grand Prix & Audience Award, CinEast