When Father Was Away on Business (1985)
"Otac na sluzbenom putu" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  11 October 1985 (USA)
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Tito's break-up with Stalin in 1948 marked the beginning of not only confusing, but also very dangerous years for many hard-core Yugoslav communists. A careless remark about the newspaper ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Moreno D'E Bartolli ...
Mehmed Mesa Zolj (as Miki Manojlovic)
Senija Sena Zolj
Mustafa Nadarevic ...
Zijah Zijo Zulfikarpasic
Ankica Vidmar
Predrag Lakovic ...
Kucepazitelj Franjo
Pavle Vuisic ...
Dedo Muzamer (as Pavle Vujisic)
Slobodan Aligrudic ...
Ostoja Cekic
Eva Ras ...
Ilonka Petrovic
Aco Djorcev ...
Dr. Ljahaov (as Aleksandar Dorcev)
Emir Hadzihafizbegovic ...
Mladji ujak
Zoran Radmilovic ...
Jelena Covic ...
Tomislav Gelic ...
Berberin Hamdo
Davor Dujmovic ...
Brat Mirza


Tito's break-up with Stalin in 1948 marked the beginning of not only confusing, but also very dangerous years for many hard-core Yugoslav communists. A careless remark about the newspaper cartoon is enough for Mesha to join many arrested unfortunates. His family is now forced to cope with the situation and wait for his release from prison. The story is told from the perspective of Malik, his young son who believes the mother's story about father being "away on business". Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

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Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When Father Was Away on Business  »

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Did You Know?


In the wedding banquet scene, the cake is hit and damaged by a football. A few moments later, it is shown intact again. See more »


References Mayerling (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Tradition, Politics, Family relations - excellent!
30 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A Shu-fan wrote: "The Zolj family is of Jewish origin. The circumcision scene and the later bath of the boy are absolutely comical. Though in difficult time, the innocence of children is expressed in great lovely details, Malik's interest in other sex, his father's predicament… The filming location was Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, a place where the Jews and Muslims were killing each other. Kosovo is another long-stay pain. The body and soul of this region will take a long long time to restore." I just want to say that the family in the movie is not Jewish. They are Bosnian Muslim family and that is why they had a circumcision. Also, to people from ex-Yu is very clear when they hear their names. Their neighbor is Bosnian Serbian family (visible from the scene of the funeral); and Ankica is Bosnian Croatian (they are mostly Roman Catholics). Otherwise, I saw the movie 3 times in the last 15-20 years and every time I saw a different things in the movie, but overall

  • I just loved it! There is one thing that I have to mention - the

subtitles are pretty bad and do not do the justice to the movie - they can be expressed much, much better! I am Kusturica's fan and it is too bad that we can not see more of his movies here in the US. This movie is just beautiful - political situation, family ties, relationships in ex-Yu... seen through the eyes of an innocent child. Beautiful, beautiful!

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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