Intense yet controlled, this compelling award-winning Serbian film (Special Jury Prize at Sundance) from director Srdan Golubovic (Father, The Trap) looks to the open wounds that remain years after the violent break-up of Yugoslavia.

An altercation in the town square leaves one man dead. More than a decade later, Marko is still deeply mourned by his father (Aleksandar Bercek – Professor Kosta Vujic’s Hat, Noz). Seemingly separate narratives unfold – a car accident victim is rushed into a Belgrade hospital; Haris (Leon Lucev – The Load, Men Don’t Cry), now living in Germany, is compelled to help a woman hiding from her violent husband; Aleksander Bercek refuses to give Bogdan (Nikola Rakocevic – Travelator, Father) work.

As ripples form when an object hits water, so Circles sees the continued repercussions of that one tragic moment. Emotionally conflicted, characters within this exceptionally crafted narrative struggle. Silences are captured, glances frozen. A powerful script and haunting soundtrack (Mario Schneider – Father, The Trap) add nuanced subtly to a deeply moving, mournful complexity.

Rating: 89%