During the volatile climate of the Serbian-Muslim-Croatian conflict in Bosnia, many Muslim citizens remained in their hometown of Trebinje, currently occupied by the Serbian Army. One fateful day Haris, a young Muslim man who operates a small sales stand, is harassed by a group of Serbian military, led by Todor, a Captain. This harassment quickly turns violent, ending with a tragic act of heroism that sends ripples through the lives of many for years to come. Srdan Golubovic’s Circles is a film examining the impact one tragically heroic act can have on the lives of many. This is a film very much about the ripple effect of life, the cause and effect, touching on guilt, forgiveness, vengeance, anger, and hope that comes with life. Circles is one of the best narrative features of the year, with a sprawling ensemble of 5 main protagonists that never feels the least bit unfocused. This is a film that makes the viewer earn everything with subtle detail and examination of the cause and effect that makes up life. The film has many layers, slowly peeling them away to reveal how each of these characters are connected and why this tragic event has impacted their life on both a grand and intimate scale. While some ensemble films suffer from issues with perspective, this is a film that seamlessly shifts from the various perspectives of its protagonists understanding and capturing how they are all part of this machine called life. Srdan Golubovic’s Circles is an emotionally affecting ensemble drama about cause and effect, capturing how a single act can influence the lives of many.
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