5.0 out of 5 stars An indepth look at paradox...
Perhaps this is out of line but from a Western point of view Muslims persecute those who are of a Western background. As this movie shows and as anyone who is relatively informed of world events knows, Muslims are also persecuted. This movie takes the viewer, in a modern day Catch-22, into the heart of the conflict: individuals.
The movie is strangely lacking in...
Published on July 22 2003 by A. Ort
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
The absurdity of war , this film is downright funny at times with the situation the soldiers are trapped in. Each side seems to have an amusingly small number of soldiers, making one wonder how it can even be considered a war. The end parodies the futility of the UN efforts , as they will still continue to kill each other over petty differences.
More of a comedy...
Published on July 16 2003
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5.0 out of 5 stars An indepth look at paradox...,
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)Perhaps this is out of line but from a Western point of view Muslims persecute those who are of a Western background. As this movie shows and as anyone who is relatively informed of world events knows, Muslims are also persecuted. This movie takes the viewer, in a modern day Catch-22, into the heart of the conflict: individuals.
The movie is strangely lacking in sensationalism. It presents situations and the slow unfolding of the situation. It is the subtlety of the characters' interaction with one another that allows the drama to unfold. The drama begins with human beings and human beings reveal why it is that war is so complex. In the trench in which the movie unfolds, the human element begins to surface. We feel a connection with all of the characters and while we may not understand we begin to feel.
The Serbian and the Bosnian, bitter enemies, find connection on a human plane. One of the Frenchmen working for the 'neutral' United Nation's peacekeeping force shows his human side when he tires of playing passive observing, revealing that not to choose sides is to choose sides. The British television journalist shows her human side when she begins to understand the fine line between good journalism and exploitation. Even the man sitting on the mine shows just how human all of this is. All these elements merge in the trench.
While I watched it in subtitles it became obvious that the language differences revealed just how complicated human interaction can be. Something as seemingly simple as failure to communicate can not only be bridged by tragedy but how failure to communicate can lead to tragedy as well.
From a Western point of view, the world is pretty much black and white, good guys and bad guys, win or lose, right or wrong. This movie slowly reveals, with the 'Western' mode of thought shown as complicating rather than helping, the absurdity of war. There are no easy answers, war is never so cut and dry as we seem to sometimes think.
There are no clear answers, we can never really know or understand what happens to men during warfare and we are ultimately all just human beings in the end with all our complications. War is complicated. So are we. This movie unfolds the complication from a very human point of view that shuns Hollywood's antics. And it does so brilliantly.
The movie has lingered with me in a way few movies have.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Film about Human Nature & War,
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)A satire not only on the Balkan war, but also on human frailties and the follies of human institutions as a whole: Once the dark side of human nature is triggered, destruction is a River of No Return.
Where does truth lie: with those holding the gun wielding power? Was the United Nations, vested with the greatest power in this matter, in fact taking side by literaly taking no side? Wasn't the Commander General of the UN army (a British) who wouldn't like to get involved, wise after all: Wasn't the result much the same despite all the efforts? Were the media, exposing the inertia of UN army, doing anybody any service other than themselves? Was the French troop necessarily more helpful by being warm hearted than the British? If so, where did it lead us to?
The film is more like a play than a movie, but we don't need much settings anyway. There is bloodshed but never too bloody, only sadness and definitely not a boredom. You can easily finish it, so to speak, within one breath. However, note that the photos on the box of the DVD are not equally attractive. It may even be misleading at least until you have finished watching the film.
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Men and a Buried Mine in a Trench,
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)"No Man's Land," starring Branko Djuric as Ciki (pronounced Tcheeky) and Rene Bitorajac as Nino shows the pragmatics of war. These two men represent each side of the Serbian-Bosnian conflict.
Both are convinced that the other side started it, and later, both are convinced the other side is bombing them directly. Both learn of the injustices done in the name of war done by their own side.
The tension of the story is not the war, but the survival of three men, Ciki, Nino, and Cera (pronounced Tsera, played by Filip Sovagovic).
Ciki, a Bosnian, and Nino, a Serb, end up in a foxhole. Neither wants to be there, and both need the other to get out alive. They don't care about the other, even as they find some common ground like a former lover they each had. The war and its wage of death is the vault between them truly acknowledging the other's humanity, but they lean on each other awkwardly, but effectively to persuade the UN to save them, and Cera, also a Bosnian.
The trouble is that Cera lays upon a mine that will detonate when he moves. Naturally, then, he stays still. The fear of the mine blowing up provides the need for them to work toward a solution. With no obvious fix, they attract the UN, who are a mix of competent and incompetent, passive and intentional leaders. The UN's indecisiveness jeopardizes the soldiers, and their philosophical unwillingness to resolve the problem only exacerbates the anger between the soldiers.
It carefully stands away from the divisive, bitter fight, indicating that the both sides aren't pure in motivation. Each character is so far removed from whatever started the conflict, that any ending becomes a tragedy.
There are two sides to any war: those who are governing it, and those who are fighting in it. Within that war, among those fighting in it, are two more sides: those who believe in the fight, and those conscripted to be there. All are part of this movie.
"No Man's Land" shows that the Big Muddy, as Pete Seeger once sang of WWII, is not just in 1942 or Vietnam. In the trenches, as a force of war's reality, evil occurs. It is the default of war that men are asked to kill, and it is the default of man that the living will die.
I fully recommend "No Man's Land." For a look at a similarly powerful movie about the Irish conflict, see Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson in 1994's "In the Name of the Father."
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking,
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)This was an extremley disturbing movie but a brilliant work. It took a week for me to get over the movie.
This was the oscar winner when an indian film called Lagaan was nominated, and i wondered what could be better than a brilliantly made film like Lagaan. But after watching No mans Land, i think Lagaan really did not have even the slightest chance of winning the covetted oscars
Watch it people, it taught me to be more humble and humane in life
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch it if you can,
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)Shot in a sort of "reality TV" way, the movie takes you through what seems to be a simple enough situation - 3 men caught in the dividing line between 2 warring sides and need people to rescue them. The ensuing chaos and confusion results, after the UN had to be called in to resolve this issue... one of the men had been laid onto a booby trap which will detonate if he moves, which complicates things even further. The news reporters representing the big news networks around the world are portrayed as anything but angels, so are the UN peacekeepers who are supposedly stationed there to keep peace. There aren't special effects in this movie, a number of shoot-them-up scenes but witty dialogue, a great script and convincing acting dominated the whole movie. It may not be as politically correct as some people would have preferred, but it is a valid perspective anyway, depending on whose side you're with. This movie is based on the real-life Balkan war that happened not so long ago. The length of the movie (it seemed to have taken almost 2.5 or 3 hours to watch) is probably why I took off a star for this review.... a storyline as this, although supported by great dialogue and acting, shouldn't have taken so long to finish... Still, it was funny, entertaining, and serious at the same time. Definitely worth watching!
5.0 out of 5 stars "By the way, who started the war...?",
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)"No Man's Land" is a triumphant and dark satire with raw power that is both undeniable and mesmerizing. And that says a lot, being that I'm not the biggest fan of foreign films. The film is funny and tragic at the same time. Very rarely can you come across a decent movie that can successfully combine drama with comedy, let alone finding one that is superb. "No Man's Land" is indeed superb on all levels.
The film takes place during the horrific Bosnian-Serb conflict. In a strange turn-of-events, a Bosnian soldier ends up being trapped with a Serbian soldier in a trench (a wounded comrade of the Bosnian soldier is also in the trench). Both the Bosnian and Serbian sides refuse to help the two, so it's up to the UN to try to come up with a reasonable solution. Now, that would sound like a great idea, except the UN is portrayed as being extremely lazy and incompetent. While in the trench, the two armed soldiers have nothing to do but to wait for help... that is, if they don't kill each other first.
This is a unique film that is fresh and daring. Not a single boring minute went by during my whole viewing of the movie. It's tragic, and yet comical. The movie is able to work on every emotion, which is something that is very hard for a film to do successfully. While it is indeed a satire, the film does a good job of setting up the stage for the Bosnian-Serb conflict and gives us an idea of what was happening during that time. It's a film that will make you want to learn more about the conflict, which is something I highly recommend. After you read more about it, then watch the movie again and I guarantee you that you'll enjoy it a lot more the second time around.
The DVD is pretty standard, offering very little special features. The picture quality is crystal clear and the sound is great. The movie offers English, French and Spanish subtitles. Don't let the subtitles scare you, as they are extremely easy to read and follow. It's also easy to tell what's going on without reading too much into it. The only special feature available, aside from the subtitles, is the original theatrical trailer.
"No Man's Land" is an unforgettable experience that portrays a dark time in history. It is comical and sad at the same time. For somebody who isn't the biggest fan of foreign films, I must admit that I loved this movie. An interesting viewing, if you ask me.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great War Movie,
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)"No Man's Land" is a great movie that deals with the Bosnian War. It has many unique scenes that give the audience more enjoyment to watch. The storyline was wonderfully written. It blends multiple stories into one movie. This is highly difficult considering most of it explores trying to rescue a soldier from a mine that'll detinate if he moves. The acting is great. The gun shootouts scenes, they express their characters' life threateneng terror realistic looking. The environment (the set) looks as if an actual war is breaking, which is good. Such wonderful efforts deserved the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film(spoken mostly in sebro-croatian). It later won. "No Man's Land" is a great movie for those looking for action and drama. Such substance will keep everyone entertained.
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, Harrowing . . . an Amazing Film,
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)I couldn't help but love this movie. The writing is amazing, the acting is top-notch, and the story is simple and moving. I was compelled by every moment of this movie.
This aside, there are no flaws in this movie. It is perfectly done. The acting, as I said, is amazing. You even forget that the actors aren't speaking English throughout most of the movie. Particularly good was the Bosnian soldier sitting on a mine. He knows that if he moves, he's dead. He knows they can't defuse the mine. He's dead, he knows it, and it shows. It would be really easy to overplay or underplay this part, but the actor (I can't recall his name) does it perfectly. He doesn't wail about "woe is me" as you'd suspect. He takes it like a man when others are around, his only comment being "Why is this happening to me?" Yet, when the others aren't looking, there's a particularly powerful scene in which he silently cries to himself.
Another notable part is the French Sergeant. He's the crusader; he's sick of sitting around doing nothing. Yet, even by doing something he ultimately does nothing. Brilliant.
I would highly recommend this movie to any who want a real perspective on the Bosnian war, or the futility of war in general. I would give it six stars if I could.
5.0 out of 5 stars No Man's Land,
By A Customer
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)This movie does an excellent job of portraying the horror of modern war and also looks at how war is truly destructive to us all. This movie uses symbolism, metaphors, and the brilliance of two actors to demonstrate to us all the destructiive nature of war. I sincerly hope that all people will one day see this movie and learn from it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best movie on Modern War,
This review is from: No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)This is an excellantmovie on the insanity of war but it is much more than that. It is also the amazing ineptness and weakness of the UN forces. Perhaps the greatest achievement of the film is the intimate protrayal of the Balkan situation. The madness of the ideas of ethnic cleanliness which can be found in all the countries of the Balkans is a difficult thing to portray in film. This could only have been done by a native of the pennisula who understands its problem. The only real drawback is that the translation of the English subtitles are not as exact as I would have liked but that doesnt really detract from the film as a whole.
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No Man's Land (Widescreen/Full Screen) by Danis Tanovic (DVD - 2003)
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