Films & Schedules

  • Snow

  • Aida Begic

Bosnia And Herzegovina/ Germany/France/Iran
100 minutes

Production Company:
Mamafilm/Rohfilm/ Les Films de l'Après Midi/DEFC
Elma Tataragic, Benny Drechsel, Karsten Stoeter, François D'Artemare
Aida Begic, Elma Tataragic
Production Designer:
Vedran Hrustanovic, Faruk Sabanovic
Erol Zubcevic
Miralem S. Zubcevic
Frank Bubenzer, Branko Neškov
Igor Camo
Principal Cast: Zana Marjanovic, Jasna Ornela Bery, Sadžida Šetic, Vesna Mašic, Emir Hadžihafizbegovic

International Sales Agent:
Pyramide International

TIFF Tags: Women 

Friday September 0509:45AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Tuesday September 0909:45PM ISABEL BADER THEATRE Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1209:30AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

It is 1997, two short years after the end of the bitter internecine conflict that ripped apart Yugoslavia. We find ourselves in the eastern Bosnian village of Slavno, where the survivors of the conflict are struggling to reassemble their lives. The men have more or less all disappeared or been killed, their fates still a mystery. The village is populated almost entirely by women and children, either orphans or fatherless.

Aida Begic's extraordinary and penetrating study of this post-war society resonates on many levels, but above all it is a wonderful testament to the resilience of the human spirit – witnessed mostly through the eyes of three generations of women.

Much of the film centres upon two women whose husbands have both been killed: Nadija, who does not definitively know the fate of her spouse, and Alma, who does. Nadija has a teenaged daughter who still holds out hope that her father will miraculously return. There are also a couple of young orphaned children, the elderly Safija, who lives with and cares for Alma, and a single old man who has likely been spared due to his age. All of them struggle to get by, pushing carts up the local hills to the highway in vain attempts to sell goods and make some money. Everything changes when a couple of men, Serbs, turn up and offer to buy their various properties to develop into hotels and a resort. There seems to be one inevitable outcome – to sell – and Snow concerns itself with whether this will indeed be the fate of the remaining villagers.

But this film is about far more than this narrative. It delicately relays the kaleidoscope of emotions at play among the various women, which swing from bitterness and despondency to resilience and then hope. Snow is full of unforgettable moments, whether capturing the affection the women show for each other or the honesty of remembered losses. A simple shot of a woman adjusting her head scarf while walking a country lane summons up a wealth of feelings and associations. This is a highly sophisticated piece of filmmaking from a director who has found a worthy subject: what is contained in the lives of survivors.

Dimitri Eipides

Aida Begic was born in Sarajevo and graduated in directing from the Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts. In addition to directing several commercial and promotional films, she has created the short films First Death Experience (01) and North Went Mad(03). She is also the co-founder of the independent production company Mamafilm. Snow (08) is her first feature.

Cadillac People's Choice Award