Underground (1995)

Dir. Emir Kusturica
170 minutes

This is a long film. I’m sure Don, Jill and Joel would not be really into this film. I wouldn’t strongly recommend it to the remaining idiots. My rating reflects my objective assessment of the film more than my personal enjoyment. This film deserves a more thorough review than I’m giving it: it’s ambitious and does a lot of good things.

I have a hard time getting into foreign films that attempt to capture a particular historical period in their country–usually one of political upheaval–especially if I’m unfamiliar with the history and culture of the particular country. I don’t see how anyone cannot feel lost or removed from this sort of film.

In this case, the film is about the former Yugoslavia. If you’re really interested in Yugoslavia, I’d recommend this because the film is interesting in several ways. First, the tone shifts from zany absurdist humor to serious drama pretty effectively. Second, there is at least one interesting metaphor and several different Fellini-esque moments that may be of interest.

The film is broken up into three sections: war, cold war and war again. The first section deals with WWII, Tito’s army against the Nazis; the second involves the post-war Yugoslavia; and then the Balkan wars of the 90s in the last segment. In each section we follow three principle characters in a love triangle: Marko and Blacky (best friends) and their love interest, Jelena (I that was her name).

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