Arts Cinema StageWeekend

[Cinema] Aida's voice

(B2) In Bosnia-Herzegovina, return to a dark page in European history.

(Photo: Film Voix d’Aida)

We are in Srebrenica, in July 1995. The Dutch peacekeepers see their camp overwhelmed by inhabitants who come to seek refuge by the thousands, terrorized by the imminent arrival of the Serbian army. A dark moment in European history, where the political cowardice of the moment, hesitations, and the desire for human solidarity combine.

The Blue Helmets are beginning to welcome a few thousand people. But, quickly overwhelmed, they leave the majority of the others outside the gates of the camp. Surrounded by the Serbs they will not fire a shot to defend the civilian population. Worse, the generosity of the start gives way to cowardice.

Colonel Franken, who commands the base, sounds the alarm: “ You will be responsible if the Serbs return to town we need help, there are 25 people here ". But he is literally let go by the UN command, as well as by his national country (Netherlands). His repeated calls for help go unanswered.

Aida, the translator hired by the Blue Helmets, a former English teacher, tries to save her sons from deportation (and death). She knows the executioners, they are neighbors, former students. All the complexity of this war, which pits populations who have lived together for a long time against each other, is being woven.

Little by little, fatigue and confusion of meaning gain. The main human landmarks are fading. Executions outside the camp leave the peacekeepers in silence. Dutch soldiers even found themselves helping Mladic's Serbian militias sort between men and women.

This film, in its accuracy, reflects this weakening of the will, of humanity, in a corner of Bosnia-Herzegovina, abandoned by the great powers. A moment of collective and individual weakness which must remain engraved in memories. A film that should be shown in all schools of war and international relations.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Also read on the subject: “The partial responsibility of the Netherlands in Srebrenica: a partial judgment” Sylvie Matton, Nouvel Observateur

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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