Movies Are Boring—’No Man’s Land’
We’ll try not to spoil the Oscar-winning dark comedy about the Bosnia war
No Man’s Land is the story of a Bosniak Muslim and a Christian Serb trapped in a trench between the opposing front lines during the 1990s Bosnia war. Both sides are shooting, and the two men must work together to escape.
Then both armies call the U.N. to resolve the situation—which doesn’t exactly help.
No Man’s Land won the Academy Award for best foreign language feature in 2001. It’s easy to see why. No Man’s Land is a powerful and subtle blend of comedy, war and tragedy.
A soldier on the front line reads a newspaper. “What a mess in Rwanda,” he says as his own war rages around him. The soldiers in the trench hate each other one minute and find common ground the next. The U.N. turns inaction into an art form.
Writer-director Danis Tanovic was born in Bosnia and raised in Sarajevo. The siege of Sarajevo and the outbreak of war interrupted his studies. He picked up the camera and began filming the war, instead. Tanovic based No Man’s Land on his experiences.
In a rare move for Movies Are Boring, Kevin Knodell and I decided to film two videos for No Man’s Land. Normally, we don’t try to protect the audience from spoilers. With this movie we decided not to discuss the ending in our first video. We think the movie is too good and too important to spoil.
That doesn’t mean we didn’t talk about the remarkable ending, though. You can watch that discussion below.
On Sept. 29, the same day we filmed our discussion, the International Criminal Court in The Hague concluded its closing arguments against Radovan Karadzic, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs during the war. The Hague concluded Karadzic was a “driving force” behind the genocide of Bosniaks.
The Bosnia war is over but we still live in its shadow. No Man’s Land shines some light into that darkness.