no-mans-land-apr-18thWar in the former Yugoslavia is the subject of this darkly comedic film
about political expediency and absurdity. When Bosnian troops come
under fire Ciki finds himself stranded with a dead colleague. The naïve
Serbian Nino is sent to the scene, resulting in a stand-off. Then the dead
body revives, revealing it has been deliberately laid upon a bomb. The
peacekeeping forces are inept in disabling it. “The movie is about the
absurdity of a particular war, but it ends up reflecting the absurd nature
of life itself”, Philip French, The Observer. (Cert 15)
Dir: Danis Tanovic 93 mins Bos/Fra/Spain 2001

Programme Notes

No Man’s Land
Bosnia/ France/ Spain 2001 93 minutes Cert. 15

The civil war in former Yugoslavia has thrown up a variety of films and Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land, is about Ciki, a Bosnian, trapped in a trench between the lines with Nino, a Serb, sent to capture him. There is also a body in the trench which is on top of a booby trapped mine. But it turns out the man is not dead and when he wakes up the other two men, who only have one gun between them, have to try co-operate to resolve their problem. They call in the UN, known locally as SMURFS, hoping that they can help …

No Man’s Land won an Oscar in 2002 for Best Foreign Language Film.

Ciki – Branko Djuric
Nino – Rene Bitorajac
Cera – Filip Sovagovic
Sgt Marchand – Georges Siatidis
Dubois – Serge-Henri Valcke
Michel – Sacha Kremer
Col. Soft – Simon Callow
Jane Livingstone – Katrin Cartlidge

Director – Danis Tanovic
Screenplay – Danis Tanovic
Original Music – Danis Tanovic
Cinematography – Walther van den Ende
Film Editor – Francesca Calvelli
Producers – Marc Baschet, Frédérique Dumas-Zajdekla, Cédomir Kolar

“A virtuoso black comedy about the Bosnian conflict circa 1993, writer-director Danis Tanovic’s Oscar-winning film displays something of the wit of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, while also echoing that book’s frankness about the absurdities of war.” Simon Wardell, BBC Home.

“You won’t forget No Man’s Land – it stings” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone


“I’m speechless!”

“Probably the best anti-war film I’ve seen. The overall impotence of our armies showed clearly how poorly we handle even a small catastrophe. What will happen with North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria … ?”

“The madness of war – opening scene in the mist amazing. Who is on whose side is irrelevant. And all the exploiters of these situations …”

“The horrors of war – like the film Lebanon that makes the experience personal and more understandable. A film to show to anyone who needs to be educated about conflict.”

“Excellent – probably tells the story of modern warfare better than most other films.”

“An excellent film set in the Bosnia/Serbia crisis. Full of memorable characters, modern cinematography, good editing and great performances from Djuric, Callow and Cartlidge.”

“A relentless fable – only too believable”

“Impressively bleak, with only minor lapses into cliché”

“What away to keep the peace – a tour de force”

“To the point. Where is Paddy Ashdown when you need him?”

“Didn’t have the moral force of All Quiet on the Western Front but a serious film, very well made.”

“Occasionally confusing but also very funny at times. Reminiscent of All Quiet on the Western Front.”

“Funny in a bitter-sweet sort of way. Sadly, all too predictable.”

“Maybe the mine represented the Euro …”

“Rather blunt satire – war is not funny”

“Merely an exercise in hand-wringing. Scored lots of cheap points but ultimately trite.”


A:26, B:12, C:1, D:1, E:1 to give 87%