Srdan Golubovic's award-winning Circles , a ripple-effect drama, opens during the Bosnian war, with a decent young Serbian soldier standing up to some of his more thuggish colleagues, as they lay into a Muslim shopkeeper. Flash-forward some 12 years, and this fateful intervention has left a dent in many lives: the young hero's father is rebuilding a church as a kind of shrine, his former fiancee has turned to the vendor he saved in order to escape an abusive husband, and many prejudices and psychoses rooted in the conflict have not dissipated.
The screenplay by Srdjan Koljevic and Melina Pota Koljevic keeps us guessing about the connections. Aleksandar Ilic’s cinematography is equally adept at capturing rolling hills and urban squalor. The performances are top-notch. A scene where a surgeon comes face-to-face with the man who killed his best friend ought to seem convenient. Instead, it is deft and dramatic.