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Double Bill: Emir Kusturica
8.4
/10
3,099 Ratings

Underground

Directed by Emir Kusturica
Yugoslavia, France, 1995
Comedy, Drama, War
  • Serbian
  • English
Double Bill: Emir Kusturica

Synopsis

In the midst of war, Marko and Blacky attain riches dealing arms to resistance fighters. When things get too hot, they move into a cellar packed with refugees who manufacture the weapons. With Blacky convinced he should remain hidden until the war ends, Marko conspires to leave him there.

Our take

Opening our double bill of historical fiction from auteur Emir Kusturica is this Palme d’Or winner from 1995. An expansive masterpiece, the film is an exhilarating and absurdist satire, earning its reputation as one of the most controversial yet vital political tales in cinema.

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Critics reviews

Emir Kusturica establishes the freewheeling tone of Underground from its opening seconds, with the film roaring into life on the boisterous din of a brass band that doesn’t so much march through Belgrade’s streets as it sprints through them while blaring its music in an accelerated triple-time whirl. The manic intensity of this opening stretch prefigures a film that maintains its sense of sweeping, grandiose farce even as the action narrows.
February 18, 2018
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UNDERGROUND is filled with rollicking comic set pieces, gloriously outsized characterizations, and near-constant marching band music—it feels as much like a party as it does a film.
February 02, 2018
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Tragedy replayed as farce (Kusturica’s favourite mode), it has a thematic and visual audacity (communism as a cellar, a postmodern take on the ‘red western’, the float-away wedding party) that compensates for its hectic overload.
March 04, 2016
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