Bila jednom jedna zemlja (Underground) (1995)

Original Title : Underground
Director : Emir Kusturica
Writer : Dusan Kovacevic
Dusan Kovacevic
Dusan Kovacevic
Emir Kusturica
Genre : Drama
Country : France
Language : Serbo-Croatian
Producer : Karl Baumgartner , Maksa Catovic , Pierre Spengler
Music : Goran Bregovic
Photography : Vilko Filac
Distributor : Argentina Video Home (AVH) [ar]
IMDB ID : 0114787
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poster for "Bila jednom jedna zemlja (Underground)" by Emir Kusturica (1995)
Bila jednom jedna zemlja (Underground) (1995) - Emir Kusturica


Miki Manojlovic Marko
Lazar Ristovski Petar Popara Crni
Lazar Ristovski Petar Popara Crni


The story starts from an underground manufacture of weapons of Belgrade, during the WWII, and evolves into fairly surreal situations. The black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans forgets to mention to the workers that the war is over, and they keep producing. 50 years later, they become suspicious, and break out of their underground "shelter" --- only to convince themselves that the guy was right: the war is still going on. This movie reflects the history of Yugoslavia since the beginning of WWII (and similar to all ex-communist countries) to the last horrible events in Balcanian countries. Behind the comedy is hidden the pain of whole generations, which have suffered WWII, The Cold War, the war in Yugoslavia, the communism, the treachery of their own leadership, the fall. The film shows us the reality, as seen by those who feel unlimited love for their country and culture. Marko and Blacky represent the true leaders of country, the soul of nation and not without controversies.


Clever satire with a wicked black humour –, but drags once or twice Starting with the German bombing of Belgrade in 1941 this film follows two men who are hailed as heroes for their actions during the war. Marko hides people in his basement during the war and they produce guns for the war effort.Petar a.k.a. Blacky is a real war hero and an inspiration to his people, but after his capture and torture he is taken to the basement for safety.After the warMarko doesn't tell the people that it's over and profits from their arms production.As years do by Marko rewrites history to suit him. Winner of the Palme D'Or, I still didn't expect too much from this, but I was pleasantly surprised.It starts well with the bombing of a zoo etc and has several big set piece scenes.It also has a healthy rash of black comedy (witness Blacky polish his shoes with a passing cat without comment!) but it drags at times.The story itself is about how heroes are made and how history is rewritten, but nothing changes.The people emerge from the basement to find the war over, but a new war has taken it's place. As a satire on this I can get it, however I'm not familiar enough with Yugoslavia to fully understand some of the underlying currents.The humour is quite dark but the points are there to be seen.Another comment said that he couldn't understand the whole thing with the people being in the basement for so long…, have to wonder what he thought he was watching! The final redemption is a nice comment on war, but really it suggests that the film is deep and meaningful.However epic or clever it appears I suspect that it isn't as deep as it would like to be. Overall the cast are good, it is funny, clever and has some good points to make about different types of people through history.But at times it drags and appears to think that it is more meaningful than it is.On the whole and good film and a worthy winner.
poster for "Bila jednom jedna zemlja (Underground)"
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Bila jednom jedna zemlja (Underground) (1995) - Emir Kusturica
poster for "Bila jednom jedna zemlja (Underground)"
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Bila jednom jedna zemlja (Underground) (1995) - Emir Kusturica