This extraordinarily dramatic black tragicomedy is an epic tale of love, friendship and betrayal set against the complex historical backdrop of the former Yugoslavia. The story follows two likeable crooks - Marko (Miki Manojlovic), a charmer who manipulates everyone within his reach, and the foolish but loveable Blacky (Lazar Ristovski) - and Natalija (Mirjana Jokovic), an actress of easy virtue with whom they are both in love. The three become embroiled in a world of conflict, self-delusion and deceit - but where there are also moments of tenderness and love - in this visionary allegory of Balkan vitality, energy, humour and the will to survive.
'Once Upon a Time There Was a Country' (Emir Kusturica, 1995, 315 mins): the six-part TV version of 'Underground'
Shooting Days (Aleksandar Manic, 1996, 73 mins): documentary on the making of 'Underground' EPK Items (29 mins): behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the director, cast and production designer
Trailer (1 min)
This disc includes the main feature
This disc includes:
- Once Upon a Time There Was a Country (Episodes 1 - 4)
This disc includes:
- Once Upon a Time There Was a Country (Episodes 5 - 6)
- Special Features
stunningly surreal gypsy flick
- Underground review by CP Customer
This film starts with one of the most powerful sequences in European cinema, and sets the scene for a romp through a bizarre take on Balkan history through the last sixty years. Using powerful actors and even more powerful gypsy musicians Emir Kusturica explores the relationship between a pair of rogues and a classical femme fatale. If you liked Delicatessen, enjoy Gogol Bordello and want to travel somewhere exotic but are prevented by the credit crunch, then this is for you (but set a full night aside - it's nearly 3 hrs long!)
This is a frantic and chaotic portrayal of Yugoslavia over the latter half of the 20th century. The pace is exhausting and exhilarating, but makes the plot difficult to follow. A comic tragedy of great worth. (Beware, also an epic.) I thought it was what world cinema was all about; the antithesis of Hollywood. Highly recommended.