Last week I visited Grbavica. No, I was not in Sarajevo, but I saw the movie by Jasmila Žbanić. Having read the reviews before, I had expected it to be more 'disturbing' than it actually was.
The film is full of stereotypes, almost caricatures. The bodyguard, the overdone mafioso with a gold chain and fleur-de-lis hanger. They even called him Puška, as he had been an army commander during the war. And even the prostitute in the film is from Ukraine.
If you think away those obvious stereotypes, what reamains is a good movie with nice cinematography.
Single mother Esma wants to grant her twelve-year-old daughter Sara's wish to participate in a school trip. A certificate proving her father is a war martyr would allow her a discount. But Esma continues to avoid Sara's requests for the certificate. She would rather find a way to pay full price for the trip. She believes not telling the truth about Sara's father is a way to protect both her and her daughter.
The lead role, Esma, is played by Mirjana Karanović, who also appeared in Kustorica's movies like Underground, and the award winning Otac na službenom putu. Also in that movie she played together with Emir Hadžihafisbegović (Puška).