No Man’s Land

Director: Danis Tanovic

Winner of the Best Foreign Film at the 2002 Golden Globes, this Oscar nominated work about the 1993 Bosnian/Serbian conflict begins like a typical war movie but quickly evolves into a brilliant satirical study of the futility of war, worthy of its Kubrickian predecessors like Paths of Glory and Dr. Strangelove. Ciki, a Bosnian soldier (played by the charismatic Branko Djuric) finds himself trapped in the trenches along with a fellow soldier who’s been wounded and booby-trapped with a land-mine, and Nino (Rene Bitorajac), a Serbian fighter. The men quickly become the source of political posturing and ethical drama as they are caught in between the front lines of their respective sides and thus, neither one wants to intervene. Added to the mix is the UN (only allowed to provide aid) and an eager newswoman determined to capture the entire thing on film. While it’s easy to call the premise far-fetched, keep in mind that war is filled with the strange and extraordinary and it’s not too hard to believe that such an incident could occur amidst the chaos. Tanovic’s Cannes Film Festival award-winning screenplay is astute and polished, capturing the wide array of emotions of the three soldiers as they argue their points, try to stay alive and understand the goings on of the political arena in which they’ve unwittingly become involved. No Man’s Land is an excellent war film and one that is not really about the war but more importantly considers the madness of the idea of war and Tanovic's film is definitely timely in light of our current situation.