Published on January 15th, 2008 | by Chris0
No Man’s Land (2001)
So, anyone remember the big military story of the late 90's, you know, *before* 9/11? Yeah, not so much, do you? Well, No Man's Land takes us back to the fight in Serbia and Bosnia, and looks at that conflict from the inside.
First off, a warning, the movie is nearly all foreign languages, with a little English thrown in. Smatterings of French and German, with the majority in... well, the native language, which I'm not even sure what to call it! But it really doesn't matter, as No Man's Land is a fine bit of film making, and a great statement about that war, and war in general.
The story pits individuals from each side trapped in a trench between the two lines, the "no man's land" as it were. Ciki (Branko Djuric), the veteran, and one of his companions, Cera (Filip Sovagovic), versus Nino (Rene Bitorajac), the greenhorn from the opposite side. Nino's Sergeant has mistaken Cera for dead, and booby trapped him with a "bouncing betty" style mine. The majority of the picture follows the arguing and trading of the upper hand between Ciki and Nino.
Eventually they come to accept that they are stuck in a common situation, and attract enough attention from both side to bring the UN observers, led by French Sergeant Marchand (Georges Siatidis), into the situation. *That* action brings in the TV journalists, led by the British Jane Livingstone (Katrin Cartlidge) and the fun begins.
The picture is really a lot more light-hearted than I would have expected from a movie made from this perspective. In fact there are plenty of downright humorous moments, in an ironic sort of way. Their attention getting stunts, for one, and the language barriers inherent with the UN observers.
There are a lot of uncomfortable moments in the trench, and Djuric and Bitorajac excel in their roles. Ciki as the weary veteran sick to death of the war, and Nino as the newbie who thinks he's there to serve his country, and because he thinks its the right thing to do.... But quickly realizes that it's not all its cracked up to be.
In the end, though, the point is made. No one wins, except for maybe the journalists, and possibly the UN commander, who shows up to "take charge" of the situation only after Marchand has surreptitiously done so already. No Man's Land provides a unique perspective on modern warfare, and I'll give it a healthy seven out of ten.
No Man's Land
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Danis Tanovic's Academy Award®-winning satire of the war in the Balkans is an astounding balancing act, an acidic black comedy grounded in the brutality and horror of war. Stuck in an abandoned trench between enemy lines, a Serb and a Bosnian play the blame game in a comic tit-for-tat struggle while a wounded Bosnian soldier lies helplessly on a land mine...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Manufacturer: MGM (Video & DVD)
Original Release Date:
- Branko Djuric
- Rene Bitorajac
- Filip Sovagovic
- Georges Siatidis
- Serge-Henri Valcke
- Rated R for Violence and Language
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Serbo-Croatian: 5.1 Surround
- English, French & Spanish Language Subtitles
Summary: In the end, though, the point is made. No one wins, except for maybe the journalists, and possibly the UN commander, who shows up to "take charge" of the situation only after Marchand has surreptitiously done so already. No Man's Land provides a unique perspective on modern warfare, and I'll give it a healthy seven out of ten.