A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Faith in the face of adversity. Strength and support among siblings. Compassion and comfort in a crisis.
Positive Role Models
Women speak words of comfort to each other and their kids on the train to and in the Jasenovac concentration camp. Dara’s mother tells her daughter that should something happen to her, Dara needs to be brave since she's a big girl. Dara develops a friendship with a young woman prisoner, who offers the 10-year-old guidance and support. Dara watches the camp’s children while their mothers do chores. She also shares an apple with her younger brother who is recovering from a fever. Dara comforts her brother with encouraging words about their future. A son embraces his mother with a hug after the stillborn birth of her child.
Violence & Scariness
Soldiers shoot prisoners who resist orders or try to escape. Prisoners are threatened to be killed by soldiers if they don’t surrender possessions such as money, jewelry, and tobacco. Older and ill people who don't board the train for the concentration camps are killed by soldiers. Rifles and guard dogs are used to control prisoners. Prisoners engage in a deadly game of musical chairs and must secure a seat when the music stops or be killed. Dara sees a man’s throat cut for failing to find a chair. Other men are murdered with either a knife or mallet. Dead bodies are seen floating in water and thrown into graves dug by prisoners. A woman is kicked by soldiers for stealing food. Kids are forced into a basement to die. Images of a swastika.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman soldier engage in sex in a car. Scenes of urination.
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Soldier calls an older woman an "old girl" and "old lady." Another woman is referred to as a "whore" by a soldier.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Soldiers drink and eat while concentration camp prisoners watch and play musical instruments. Camp guards smoke cigarettes while watching prisoners.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the film Dara of Jasenovac is a Serbian drama with English subtitles. It's reportedly based on historical accounts from Holocaust survivors. The movie focuses on the life of a 10-year-old Serbian girl named Dara Ilić (Biljana Čekić) at the Croatian concentration camp Jasenovac. Soldiers shoot prisoners who resist orders or try to escape. Prisoners are threatened by soldiers for not surrendering possessions such as money and jewelry. Prisoners engage in a deadly game of musical chairs and must secure a seat when the music stops or be killed. Men are seen killed with a knife or mallet. A woman is kicked by soldiers for stealing food. Dead bodies float in a river and are tossed in graves dug by prisoners. A man and woman soldier have sex. A woman is referred to as a "whore" by a soldier. There's drinking and smoking, scenes of urination, and images of a swastika. Dara of Jasenovac includes the powerful themes of compassion, courage, and perseverance. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Serbian movie director Predrag Peter Antonijević delivers a moving and often violent view of a Croatian concentration camp during World War II. As the young prisoner in Dara of Jasenovac, Čekić is convincing as a child exposed to the camp's crimes against humanity. She also embraces the unexpected role of caring for a younger brother, assuring him that "no one can separate us." Now 80 years later, this first-ever feature about the history of the Jasenovac camp may prove to be an essential educational and teaching tool for further discussions about the Holocaust.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.