“ In any other film, the director or editor would have chosen to cut early as we understand what is happening, and forcing the audience to wait through this entire sequence is unnecessary and repetitive.
“ While engaging in the survival sex, she brings the other women food even if they call her out for holding onto her identity and also for seeing the captain.
“ The lack of dialogue allows the viewer to interpret much of the story, and also avoids contrived/overstated dialogue.
“But the strong acting makes it into a compelling film, even though extremely disturbing .
“ And, of course, there are worse atrocities that could have been committed (and which are visited upon a young girl in a cruel parody of the Christian cross and what it is meant to symbolize), but, for Samira, recently travelled from home and family to a new place where she expects to teach and care for children, this must be unimaginable, unbearable.
“ She is able to convey feeling of both vulnerability and intense fear through her expressive body language and facial expressions.
“ Quite a dreary choice of material - in keeping with the director's earlier work: a film about wheelchair-bound cerebral palsy sufferers (producer); the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster (short); and now this, a film about the Serbian sex-camps during the Bosnian war.
“When she expects to be raped again, but the soldier shown into her prefers to fall asleep next to her, there is a short moment of respite from the cruelty and dehumanisation, even though, as one of the women selected to satisfy the soldiers, she and they probably have better conditions than the others, with whom we lose contact until much later.
“ The ending shows that intense trauma never really fades and leaves the viewer emotionally unsettled.
“ To start off, this film was one of the most gruesome and intense films I ever laid eyes on.
“in fact, it's probably the furthest thing from entertaining you can imagine.
“ When the painful physical and mental things that, for me, Nastasa Petrovic's acting render totally compelling, with her face seeming like a window through which her disbelief and sense of degradation seem transparent, are over, she cannot even go back to her home city or her family, because it is all gone.
“ Worth the watch.
“ Harrowing but gripping .