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No Man's Land More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Movie and Insight into the war. Song in the end is a lullaby.

Author: jasam from West Palm Beach, FL
11 February 2002

This is the best insight into the Bosnian conflict ever pictured in a movie. For everyone with any interest and knowledge of the war, this movie will sum up the whole conflict. It hits the international community and bureaucracy for its inaction and half measures. The final scene is the final word on UN involvement and its effectiveness. The absurdity of the whole conflict is main theme of the movie.

joaodelauraaurora in his review remarks that the conflict of the two characters is sometimes "childish" and "not up to the hatred and grievances that oppose the two nations." That is not a flaw in the movie, that is how things really are. In Bosnia Serbs and Bosnians and Croats were friends, neighbors, and even relatives. The reason the director chose to have the characters conflict be "childish" is to show that the ancient hatreds that have been talked about by the politicians of the world are in fact not that deep and not that bitter as the extremists and nationalist would have you believe. The reviewer also thinks that the UN bureaucracy is the villain in the movie, and yes this is true, but this does not deviate from the real true story of the war. The UN was brought into Bosnia to show the world cares, but they did nothing but create an excuse for not lifting the arms embargo (also mentioned briefly in the movie) on the Bosnian government. The UN distributed aid, but the Serb forces would often take at least half as a "tariff". The media he says also plays a villain, but I think the view of the media is balanced. It shows the media bringing the worlds attention to the war and the inaction of the UN, but it also shows the personal interest involved.

In conclusion, if you want a balanced well rounded view of the Bosnian conflict this is the movie for you. If you want to pretend that the worlds leaders truly tried to do anything for Bosnia, or if you want a simple answer (even if its not totally true) to the cause of the war (ancient hatreds) then avoid this movie. The truth about the conflict is in this movie, definitely go see it. P.S. Reviewers that mentioned a conflict between Croats and Serbs in this movie are also incorrect, there are no Croats portrayed in this movie. Also the song at the end of the movie has not subtitles, so the audience if they do not speak Serbo-Croatian/Bosnian will not realize that its a lullaby (song to put kids to sleep).

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Without any doubt the best screenplay (Cannes 2001)

Author: Michiel Nieuwenhuijse from Amsterdam
23 January 2002

What a great movie! So realistic, so well produced! Winner Special Jury Prize : Best Screenplay and well deserved!! I can recommend this movie for everybody! Michiel

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: Almir Tucakovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First, I just want to say to all that this is not Serbo-Croatian move.

This is Bosnian movie and language that is used in this movie is Bosnian, just to know.

For movie, i just can say "amzing", you must see it.

This is not a 100% true story of Bosnian reality, but it says something.

In this movie you can see a bit of comedy, drama, an tragedy.

Danis won 42 first places in different world movie competition, and at the end He won Oscar.

This is first Oscar for Bosnia, and for whole north-east Europe.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Good satire on war that still also shows the horrors of war.

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
5 August 2004

Many people can't see further pass the dramatic elements of this movie but the movie is more then that. In a clever way it is a satire of the whole '93 war situation and modern war in general.

Still there are some dramatic elements like you would expect from a war movie. It still manages to show the horror of war and the pointlessness of the whole situation.

It perfectly shows the involvement of both the Serbians and the Bosnians that are not really caring about the faith of the soldiers trapped in the trench in the middle of no man's land, while all they do in the trench is arguing about who's to blame for starting the war in the first place which takes a lot of pressure and tension with it. It also shows the involvement of the UNPROFOR soldiers and the hungry press and the power the press can have in a war situation these days. All is shown in a satirical way and basically it just tells the story of the whole war and the parties involved in 98 minutes.

Not sure about it deserving of winning the Oscar for best foreign film but still an enjoyable light war drama.


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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie

Author: DielensA from Mechelen, Belgium
28 November 2003

A story about two soldiers in a trench between enemy lines during the Bosnian war. I was amazed to discover that not only is the film beautiful to look at, it was shot by the Belgian photographer Walther Vanden Ende, but also contains some strong characters to divert us from the lack of action. The screenplay for the film is overwhelming and establishing several conflicts in a confined space early in the film. And it uses the conflicts to drive forward a collection of other subplots at different locations. Great movie!

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Grim but Excellent Farce

Author: Tony from Sydney
29 April 2002

This is the way war movies should be made. No heroes, except perhaps the unfortunate Marchand, who risks death and his career to try to save the three fighters caught between Bosnian and Serbian front lines against overwhelming odds.

No Man's Land shows the absurdity of war very skilfully. It is full of irony and pathos. What struck me was the fact that the warring parties communicated more effectively with each other than the UNPROFOR did with anyone.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Absurdist Anti-War Piece

Author: Rebecca from United States
17 December 2002

Eastern European writers seem to have a gift for the absurd; Checkov, Kafka, and others used this element in their works. This movie uses the same elements to discuss the absurdity of war. The plot revolves around three men. One is a Serb soldier, two are Bosnians. One of the men is lying on top of a "bouncing mine" that will kill everyone within a hundred yards if he moves. The three of them are trapped in a trench between enemy lines. The film is beautifully done, tragic, sad, and... funny. The humor of the situation is portrayed through the two soldiers arguing over who started the war and the attempts of UN officers to rectify the situation and get the men out of the trench. Some people might be put off by the subtitles; the movie is in three different languages, but well worth the time.

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10 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Greatest Bosnian Picture

Author: m_poslek
4 August 2004

"No Man's Land" is the whole truth about the Serb aggression over Bosnia and Herzegovina and the responsibility of the United Nations. It shows the war from it's truthfully side.The movie is made in a typical Bosnian way that always includes comedy. I would describe the picture as a true story rather than just drama or comedy. The only disadvantage is that you can't understand some parts of "No Man's Land" if you don't speak Bosnian. There are some expressions that cannot be translated into English. Here are the pictures those to tell you the story. Tanovic works with symbols, like the very last picture of the movie, where you see this Bosnian soldier lying on a land mine not being able to either move or stay there. This is the way Bosnia looks today after the war. It is still a "No Man's Land".

It is a funny way to understand the ironic war in Bosnia. It can be compared to "Life Is Beautiful" (Benigni).

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A dark comedy set against the Bosnian war, real and raw, yet accessible to Western audiences as well.

Author: alexanderleonidovich from Oklahoma
23 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

War is Hell. Everyone knows adage. But, just as Dante asserts in the Divine Comedy, different Hells are reserved for different people depending on our sins. And while writer and director Denis Tanovic is vague about which sins of the past brought the Former Yugoslavian Republics to the Hell of the genocidal wars of the 1990's, he does a masterful job painting for a picture of the schizophrenic, absurdest hell which razed the bucolic towns and villages and raped the lush natural beauty of this troubled land for nearly a decade. He was rewarded for both his writing and directing with numerous awards, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (2002) and a Palme d'Or nomination at the Cannes Film Festival. The film opens with a squad of Bosnians on an early patrol who suddenly find themselves in an exposed position when the fog lifts. A shell-burst from a Serbian tank kills all but one of them, Ciki (Branko Djuric) who hides in an abandon trench, and watches, wide eyed, in one of the most tension-riddled scenes from the movie, as two Serbian soldiers- one of whom is the green, nervous, new recruit Nino (Rene Bitorajac) come to inspect the kill. Through the course of the film, the two men, both wounded, must try to work together to survive and return to their own lines But, as their situation a microcosm for the larger conflict, just when it seems common ground is about to be reached, they take two steps backwards when real or perceived insults lead to a break-down in peace-talks, mainly in the form of petty, childlike recriminations as to "who started it". Eventually both men are shot in the ass by the other. As if things weren't bad enough, a mine under the "body" of a not-so-dead Bosnian soldier will kill them all should he move. Without revealing too much, it does not end happily, and many viewers will be left puzzled, trying to figure out who is to blame. Perhaps the militaristic Serbs, with their crisp uniforms and shiny equipment? Or decidedly un-military Bosnians, with their shaggy haircuts and civilian attire? Or perhaps maybe the do-nothing smurf-helmeted "peace-keepers" of the UN, under orders to stay out of harm's way? Or maybe even the grim, amorphous specter of War itself, that ever present Horseman of the Apocalypse, is ultimately at fault? Tonavic, a Bosnian, does place the blame at the feet of the Serbs, albeit in a somewhat subtle and sub-textual way. Even in their appearances, we are lead to favor the Bosnian,who, with his 40-something age, and Rolling Stones t-shirt, looks somewhat like everyone's favorite stoner uncle, while the person of Nino the Serb, with his shaved head, sharp nose, and wire-rimmed glasses, would look just as at home in an SS uniform as he does in Serbian military fatigues. However, Tanovic establishes that he is not the shock-troop we might think him to be based on his appearance; we have previously seen Nino try to introduce himself to the veteran with whom his is paired for his mission, only to be angrily informed that the crusty old soldier has no interest in learning his name, as newly conscripted soldiers die soon anyway. Thusly, we simultaneously are made to sympathize with both the Bosnian and the young Serb, as they are both terrified and vulnerable in the face of a pointless war not of their choosing. Many, including Stephen Holden of the New York Times, read the text as being neutral in regards to the righteousness of the belligerents, with the true villain being an apathetic UN peace keeping mission, embodied by morally corrupt British Col. Soft (Simon Callow), whose command decisions are aimed only at protecting the image of the UN.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

War - what is it good for?

Author: tnrcooper from Korea
18 March 2014

Nothing. This movie certainly makes that point. There's not a whole lot that comes off smelling like roses in this movie except the gallows humor of Serbs and Bosnians, the general competence of the grunts and one determined French officer. There is a self-important, oversexed general, disinterested, uninformed troops, disdain, racism, disputes over command, misinformation for the public, and ambitious reporters, among other things.

Definitely not a PR pic for war. There are no winners. Good acting, a fantastic script and direction.....absolutely riveting viewing.

Director Danis Tanovic also wrote the film and his bleak view of war certainly resonated with me, and obviously Oscar voters as this won Best Foreign Film in '01. All soldiers should be required to watch this before signing up.

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